Local Year 9 student to tackle current social issues at UN Youth Voice competition
  • Wednesday 05 April 2017
mika joyce-mangschou, grants, individual development grant

With the help of a Sunshine Coast Council Individual Development Grant, as well as community and business support, 13-year-old Coolum State High School student Mika Joyce-Mangschou will soon compete at the national UN Youth Voice competition.

UN Youth Voice is the flagship public speaking event for students in Years 7-10.

Students are challenged to present their innovative solutions to some of the world’s most prominent and pressing issues.

Mika said she first entered the competition because she saw it as an opportunity to expand her public speaking skills.

“Last year I completed my first debating season for Coolum State High School and we made the grand final,” Mika said.

“I enjoy public speaking and the UN Youth Voice competition has been an amazing experience.

“I was proud to win at local and state levels of the competition, being assessed on my manner, matter and method.

“I made it to the state semi-finals and then grand final held at Parliament House in Brisbane.

“I’m excited to be one of the top five participants from Queensland that made it through to the national in Hobart.”

The UN Youth Voice will be held in Hobart from April 18-22, and will feature 60 incredible students from more than 1000 that competed across the country.

“Participating in the national competition will be a challenge and a chance to think innovatively,” Mika said

“I will get to spend time being trained by United Nations representatives in a week-long youth conference before competing against finalists from all other states.

“I’m driven by my motivation to make a positive and lasting impact on the world, and my passion for public speaking.

“After completing my education, I intend to be a solicitor and later a barrister.

“After that, I am unsure what I will do but possibilities include being a judge or running for parliament.

“I want to thank my teachers, council and everyone who has helped me to get to this point.”

Coolum State High School teacher Colette Webber said Mika was an outstanding student.

“We are so proud of Mika and everything she has achieved,” Ms Webber said.

“Mika’s determination to compete in Hobart and to develop herself as a confident public speaker is inspirational.

“The school and local community have been very supportive of Mika and several local business including Coolum Accountants, Bill Evans Optometrists, In-TanDEM and White’s IGA Mt. Coolum, have helped with funding, for which we are extremely grateful.”

Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay agreed that Mika was an inspiration.

“To achieve so much and to have a passion for making a positive impact on our world is commendable,” Cr McKay said.

“I’m proud that council and our local community and businesses have chipped in to support Mika’s journey to the national UN Youth Voice competition.

“I wish Mika the best of luck, and look forward to hearing all about the experience when she returns home to the Coast.”

Council provided a $350 Individual Development Grant to help fund Mika’s participation in the competition.

Council supported 25 local individuals through the grants program in the January-February round, providing $9700 in funding to assist with expenses including travel, accommodation, entry and registration fees.

Individual Development Grants provide support to Sunshine Coast Local Government Area residents who are performing, competing or presenting at national or international competitions, conferences or events in sport, art, cultural, community, heritage, economic or environment.

Find out more or apply for an Individual Development Grant.