Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

What we can learn from smart and savvy teens like Hannah who give Obama run for his money

Hannah Nelson, Methodist College introduces The First Lady Michelle Obama during her visit to the Waterfront Hall, Belfast ahead of the G8 Summit in County Fermanagh.

Good news for the future. You've probably got G8 coming out your earlobes, but I must add to the praise for the schoolchildren who spoke during yon President Obama's visit.

First thing I saw was a group interview on the BBC with students from New-Bridge Integrated College, Loughbrickland.

These young folk were eloquent, intelligent, grounded, smart and savvy. And it sounds like they come from a terrific school.

Then there was Methody student Hannah Nelson (16), who almost upstaged the Prez with her self-penned speech at the Waterfront Hall.

Welcoming his nibs, she spoke movingly of hope, change, peace and reconciliation. But the best thing from all those young folk was the complete lack of a Celtic cringe, that debilitating condition caused by being Britain's secondary citizens.

Decent, moderate, grounded self-confidence is a precious commodity and, if these pupils are anything to go by, Northern Ireland has a rich future ahead.

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