English Language Fellows Nicole Kaup and Chris Ott participated as judges in Bai Nian Vocational School’s speech competition. Pairs of 16-22 year-olds from different BNVS schools around China competed in the “Yes, I Can!” speech competition. Each team had five minutes to speak in English about their personal experiences related to the theme. Some of the stories were quite moving and really illustrated the great work that BNVS has accomplished in its short existence.
BNVS is a not-for-profit organization which provides free high school education to underprivileged Chinese youths. They have several schools in different cities in China, and they are also beginning to branch out into Africa. By participating in this contest, students were able to showcase their new English skills and also tell their personal stories. Attending this special school is giving them opportunities to succeed in life, improving their self-esteem, empowering them to support their families and also giving them a voice in society.