Belfast Telegraph

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

By Robert McNeill

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.

Belfast Telegraph


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