The Hunter Foundation, founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter, has published an ebook containing all the entries received to its Scottish school competition to win a table at a business dinner with President Barack Obama.
The entries, which come from every corner of Scotland, have been collated into a free to download book that showcases the views of young people on topics as diverse as education, equality, healthcare and international aid.
An Evening With Barack Obama was held in May this year and raised over £670,000 for Scottish charities. 1,200 people attended the event at the EICC, where Annie Lennox, Kevin Bridges and Texas appeared alongside keynote speaker Barack Obama. Mila Stricevic from Hyndland Secondary School won the competition and secured a table for ten fellow school pupils and a teacher. Mila read her poem, If I Ruled Scotland, on the night and it is the first entry in the ebook.
Sir Tom Hunter commented,
“These essays and poems were humbling, uplifting, challenging and often seriously funny. They made me pause for thought and ask myself — do we really listen to the young voices of Scotland enough? Their thoughts on ruling Scotland have some incredibly consistent themes; if you will a community of young Scots unknown to one another yet articulating the same vision; an anonymous, collective voice of hope.”
“Through this ebook we hope that voice is heard and that all of Scotland listens, particularly our policy makers and politicians. Their voices tell us they care about our communities, our environment, equality for all, embracing our differences, caring for those who can’t care for themselves, mental health, ambition and reaching for the stars. And having a laugh.
“Theirs is a message of hope, that same message President Obama offered us on that incredible night when our winning poet, Mila Stricevic from Hyndland Secondary School stole the show. The standing ovation on the night was hers, but all our entries deserve ovation and our sincere thanks for caring for this great nation we call home.”
“We are a small nation that can so easily punch above its weight, enabling young voices is one small way in which we will achieve so much more for Scotland.”