Wonderful speech by Joshua at Hebe 10 year Gala

 

Amie, distinguished guests, ladies & gentleman, and Hebe Foundation, friends.
I really am deeply conscious of what a great honour it is to address you this
evening on my experience at Hebe, as an alumnus, and as a previous winner of
the Junior Apprentice project.

Commitment.  The underlying attribute which I had the privilege of developing
whilst on the project and with hindsight, an attribute which has served me
throughout my life. Let me give you an idea by way of example.

Amie has known me since I was about 10 years old, through a previous project
– Groundwork – within the London Borough of Southwark. A couple of years
later in 2010, we were fortunate enough to be reacquainted through the Junior
Apprentice. It sounded like a great opportunity for me to work on a personal
goal of mine which I was committed to getting a control over – my stammer. I
applied, and was successfully accepted onto the Peckham programme.

Over the following two weeks, skills I never thought I had, came to the fore
through participation in tasks in areas of business, public speaking,
responsibility, teamwork, team management, community awareness and youth
engagement. Through these tasks, I was encouraged to use my voice more and
consequently, confront my stammer head on, on a day to day basis.

This was most demonstrable when I survived a ‘double firing’ in one day. I told
myself that stammer or no stammer, I’m going to need to speak up for myself
and control my voice rather than it control me. I survived and made it through
to the final where, the title was earned by Lucky that year.

Although I was happy that I had achieved my goal of gaining a control over my
stammer, I still felt somewhat, unfulfilled in that during the process, new goals
had formed, and I was disappointed that I was unable to see it to the end and
take the title. I remember that evening going home and telling my mum that I
had not won and, as has always been the case with her, for which I am forever
indebted to her, she gave me the simplest, yet best advice. She said, ‘Tun,
identify the areas you need to improve and, at the next opportunity, do what
you have to do’.

A year passed and with this advice at the forefront of my mind, I reapplied for
the 2011 project – being selected for the Wood Green programme and
committing to the full two weeks. Although the location seemed like an
impediment, I was determined that this would not be an insurmountable
problem for me to see the process to the end and take the title. So, began two
weeks of 5am starts, through disruptions due to the riots and an hour and half
journey to, and from Wood Green – each day reflecting on what I could do
today, that was different from yesterday but will benefit me tomorrow. This
period of quiet introspection was extremely valuable in developing the resilience
and leadership qualities needed to productively complete each task on the
programme.

Indeed, the biblical names of ‘Joshua’ and ‘Moses’ are associated with
committed leadership. I successfully won the Wood Green heat and
subsequently, the Grand Final; earning an invaluable work experience with
‘Comtact’. This experience further helped me identify the true meaning of
commitment and leadership; namely, ‘understanding what is important, and
doing what is right’.

So, how have I applied this to my life? That commitment to a goal is something
I draw on in all aspects of my life, most demonstrable in my dedication to three
years of challenging, but enjoyable research for my undergraduate law degree.
It is an attribute which I’m confident, will continue to serve me well as each day
passes, and I step ever closer to doing what I have for so long wanted to do;
advocating on behalf of other people.

And so in sum, one thing I would advise to any young person undertaking any
of the opportunities provided by the Hebe foundation – from debating to Junior
Apprentice – is that commitment to a goal, the team, the community or
anything else, is an attribute which is mostly appreciated through enjoying the
process of the project, in the full knowledge that the outcome will eventually be
achieved.
Thank You.

Joshua Moses – Hebe Foundation, Junior Apprentice 2011 Winner

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