Hoang Thieu Nhu, VP of Student Union at Olympia Secondary, a promising debate talent

27 September, 2021

Thieu Nhu used to be a reserved and shy girl, at least that is how she thinks about herself. However, after a few years, she gained more confidence to attain many successes in both academic and extra-curriculum performance.


In a talk with Thieu Nhu, I could feel the positive energy in the voice of the seventh grader. She was active, comfortable and friendly. It was not a surprise as she gained many debate and public speaking awards and prizes since she was 9 or 10. In recent years, her language skills have improved significantly.

- Participated in two World Scholar's Cup competitions and earned many prizes
- Member of Junior D-Doxa Club at Olympia
- New face at Face-off broadcast on VTV7
- Vice President of Student Union at Olympia Secondary School



Thieu Nhu has gained a lot of achievements while she is only at grade 7


The participation in World Scholar’s Cup competition (WSC) is a memorable experience to Thieu Nhu as it marked her first steps in debate journey. Thieu Nhu joined two times when she was at 4th grade (2018) and 5th grade (2019), at Vinschools. Attracting hundreds of students from many schools nationwide, WSC held several rounds of competition with varied topics aiming at unleashing different potential and talents of students. Thieu Nhu earned many prizes in both competitions, including rank 7th in writing round in 2019, a big jump from 23rd in 2018; silver prize for debate round; School Top Scholars prize among many others.


In addition, Thieu Nhu was also a junior student of Olympia joining Face Off broadcast on VTV7. Initially referred by her teachers, Thieu Nhu was driven by curiosity to register and join the program. Backed by strong speaking skills and debate experience, she shared about debate skills and critical thinking on air.


“I am very honored to join an education broadcast on national television. I was the first one to be filmed yet my part was not the first to be aired but some senior students. We were assigned with a debate topic on the stage. I was nervous in the first place due to time constraint, only 2-3 minutes, and that was 2 years since the last time I debated.”


First steps to debate


Recollecting the very first memories on debate, starting from public speaking, Thieu Nhu said,


“By the end of my 4th grade, the teachers held an audition for public speaking and I was lucky to be the finalist. Back then, extra-curriculum at Olympia was a lot of fun to me so I did not hesitate to join and try my best. Then, I got the very first training on debate. The more I got trained, the better my communication skills and language commands became. Learning English became much simpler and more interesting.”


“There are four people for whom I am very grateful as they got me into the debate journey. Ms. Quynh helped me with the foundational knowledge and skills on debate. Yen Minh and Diem Quynh, senior students at D-DOXA club, helped me practice and gain more confidence before any competition. Ms. Sat taught me how to speak eloquently and persuasively.”


She did not think of herself as the best one. However, her confidence drove her to perform better than expectation in every competition. No longer a reserved girl, Thieu Nhu now can own the stage and confidently present before audience.


In the future, she wants to join more debate activities and become a lawyer


She shared about the outlook,


“I want to gain more successes with debate by joining more clubs and participating in more activities. I also want to join other competitions besides WSC. I am so lucky to be a student at Olympia, which facilitates many debate activities. The teachers provide good training and motivate us to debate with passion. Currently, I am taking part in Speak out and Junior D-DOXA Club.”


Besides debate, Thieu Nhu also takes on other hobbies such as piano, yoga and Chinese.


“I have been learning Chinese for 6 months. I want to keep up with it and maybe learn French too. Although it is not easy to learn a new language, I will not give up, similar to the way I find myself overcome all debate-related challenges despite initial difficulties. As of now, I am able to take the Level 4 YCT test (the test for non-native Chinese primary and secondary school students) just after 6 months learning. My Chinese command is proficient enough to communicate when travelling in China or talk about almost any simple topic. Although I do not study Chinese at school, my head teacher – Ms. Hue supports me by setting the goal and helping me review after each term.”


In the long run, Thieu Nhu shared that she would like to become a lawyer. Her experience in debate, strong critical thinking and passion for reading are the solid foundation for the realization of that dream.




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