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News

Student Harnesses the Power of Youth to Tackle Homelessness

Monday 30 March 2020

Tanaquil Lu, a Year 10 student, has been elected Youth Parliament Member (MYP) for Suffolk South. Seven schools and youth groups in the area watched the candidates canvas for election in a video demonstrating their passion and drive to make a difference. When the votes were counted, Tanaquil headed the list.

She follows in the footsteps of St Joseph’s College Sixth Former Isaac Codjoe, who, as MYP, took up the fight against knife crime.

Tanaquil said, ‘I was absolutely thrilled to know that I was elected. I stood to become an MYP because I wanted practical action to be taken instead of just empty promises.’ 

During her term of office, she is hoping to be able to help the homeless and give them something to look forward to in life. 

It has been a busy time for the 15-year-old. Shortly before the College closed temporarily due to Coronavirus restrictions, Tanaquil was presented with another accolade at assembly, as winner of the Senior Rotary Young Writers Award, based on the theme ‘Connections.’ Local Rotary president, Mr Alfred Reeves, came to the school to present her trophy.

Tanaquil’s winning speech tackled ‘Connections between the Church and State in Post-Modern Society’ and her achievement was all the more notable as the competition was open to students aged up to 17 years and for Tanaquil, English is a second language.

This successful young politician also captained St Joseph’s Senior Public Speaking Debate Team to victory this year to retain the Senior Trophy in the Rotary Public Speaking Debate Competition, when she was supported by Upper Sixth Form students Olivia Cave (Proposition) and Head Boy Wilfred Kemsley (Opposition).

Mrs  Clarke, Principal of St Joseph’s College, said, ‘The school has a strong and growing tradition of public speaking and service, both practical and through representation. Pupil voice is instrumental in a happy, cohesive school community. We wish Tanaquil every success for her period in office.’