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The arguments of Jessica Robertshaw
Some teens quake at the thought of addressing an audience. Not Jessica Robertshaw. The 17-year-old Calgarian’s talent for public speaking has won her awards, given her a chance to travel, and even pointed her toward a potential career.
I realized through debate and speech that there was a lot of potential
to have a bright future,” she says. “With some hard work,
I could do something that would be valuable. If I work hard, there could
be huge payoffs.” She’s right. In February 2005, Robertshaw
placed first in Canada in the CanWest National Public Speaking Championships.
Next, she was named the best impromptu speaker at the 2005 World Individual
Debating and Public Speaking Championship in Cyprus in March.
Robertshaw graduated from Bishop Carroll High School in June and worked as a junior secretary in a law firm this summer. Future plans include law school, and maybe a career in civil or environmental law.
This September, she’ll study drama at the University of Calgary as well as continue her public speaking and volunteer work. “I’ve always felt it enhances what you’re studying, and it opens up new doors to opportunities you wouldn’t have necessarily had otherwise.”
The high hopes of Vince Terstappen
Vince Terstappen blends a keen urge to have fun with a desire to help the world. This fall, the 19-year-old starts his third year of studies in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at the University of Calgary. He recently returned from a summer spent in Northern Ghana where he and U of C professor Dr. Charles Mather, along with two other students, studied the impact of the arrival of pharmaceuticals on the local culture.
He’s already planning a work stint abroad next year, perhaps with a non- government organization such as WHO (the World Health Organization). “I’d be letting myself down if I didn’t succeed because I love what I’m doing so much,” says Terstappen, who eventually wants to pursue a graduate degree in medical anthropology or community health.
“ I enjoy going to school. If I’m going to be here anyway, I might as well have fun. And when I have fun, I tend to do better at things.”
Born and raised in Calgary, Terstappen hasn’t always been focused on academia. Throughout high school and his first year of university, he was a competitive speedskater. He still coaches speedskating and soccer for kids—a great way to banish stress, he says.
“ When I’m coaching, I don’t think of anything else other than, ‘How can I keep up with these kids?’” he says with a laugh.
The gifts of