8 March, 2023
STUDENTS from across the Tablelands came together to go head-to-head in the zone final of the Lions Youth of the Year quest on Saturday.
It was a very close game at Mareeba’s Cedric Davies Community Hub but in the end, it was Malanda Lions Club representative Yaseen Al Kahlout who took home the gold.
His speech “The Stress Speech” touched the hearts of the audience, with many people, especially his peers, relating to his message.
Yaseen spoke about how he managed to “breeze” through most of high school with minimal effort, with stress being a foreign emotion to him.
Now in Grade 12, the pressure is on and he found himself awake at 3am one day writing the speech.
“I had written about three other speeches and one night I woke up at 3am and thought ‘oh gosh, I really hate all of them’ so I pulled out my phone and just started writing,” he said.
“(Stress) is a new thing to me but I know a lot of my friends had experienced it before so I guess that is what motivated me to write it that early morning.”
This round’s impromptu questions challenged the participants greatly, being asked “who do you look up to and why?” and “what do you see is the answer to youth crime?”.
Yaseen’s answer to the first questions was “people I have grown up with” and his answer to youth crime was “solve the bigger root issues like the cost of living and violence”.
This year, Nicholas Brammer represented the Mareeba Lions Club, Mishaal Corea represented the Atherton Lions Club, Juliette Hurst represented the Yungaburra Lions Club and Daniel Shaughnessy represented the Millaa Millaa Lions Club.
Yaseen will be heading to Townsville on 18 March to compete against the next speakers in Far North Queensland.