Chinese youths show talent at the UN

Updated: 2016-08-09 11:20

By Shi Xi in New York(China Daily USA)

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Chinese youths show talent at the UN

Contestants in the 21st Century Cup competition take part in team building exercises. shi xi / for china daily

To help more Chinese youths take responsibility for letting the world get to know China - and help China get to know the world - the "21st Century" Cup Global Youth Ambassador Competition is held with the sponsorship of 21st Century English Education Media and the American International Academy.

With almost seven months of elimination rounds since January, 32 contests from the ages of elementary school to college from China, the US, Canada and Spain made it to the finals at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday.

"I'm glad to see you guys here to talk about cultural diversity, globalization and other issues," said a spokesman for UNESCO. "We believe it's very important to give a platform to young people at the early ages, like you are right now. Because soon enough, young people like you will be taking the lead in driving forward the sustainable development agenda."

"We are facing a world in need of leadership and you folks are our future," said James C. Fitchett of Harvard University, who was one of the four judges for the finals. "I'm convinced that every one of you here could be a global leader in the future."

The final competition was divided into four sections: elementary school, middle school, high school and college. Each contestant gave a prepared speech, an impromptu speech, and participated in teamwork building skills. The theme of this year's contest was "One World, More Dreams".

After spirited performances, Zhang Danrui, Brenna Boldt, Wang Yaozeng and Xiao Jiewen won first place in each group respectively.

"All the students are so talented," said Stephanie Amaro, a judge from New York University. "I'm amazed that they can handle another language so well at such a young age." They are also very creative."

Besides certificates and gifts, winners were also offered the chance for a short-term study abroad or an overseas paid-internship with reimbursement of travel expense.

"I think this is a great chance for children to open their eyes to learn more about the world," said a Ms Li, the mother of a 9-year old contestant from Guangdong province, who accompanied her son to the US for the competition.

"Actually, I didn't have high expectations for my son to win or place, I just hoped through this competition, he could get in touch with the world by himself, make friends during the tour and raise his interest in learning English for the future," she added.