Students contribute ideas to foster Vietnam-US relations hinh anh 1Participating teams pose for a photo with the jury and organizing boards (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) Vietnamese students from high schools for the gifted nationwide contributed their ideas to intensifying Vietnam-US relations during the final round of the “Speak to Lead” English contest in Hanoi on October 8.

The contest was jointly held by the US Embassy in Vietnam and the Hocmai Education, Inc. on the occasion of the 25th founding anniversary of Vietnam-US diplomatic ties.

The contest, themed “Vietnamese youths – future ambassadors of Vietnam-US relations”, encouraged students to make proposals to create more opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of trade, education, environment, science technology and culture.

Boosting educational cooperation

Nineteen high schools for the gifted, which are not from major cities, competed in two preliminary rounds, and on October 8, five teams from Cao Bang, Lang Son, Lai Chau, Dak Nong, and An Giang competed in the final round at the Fortuna Hotel in Hanoi.

The team from An Giang’s Thoai Ngoc Hau High School for the Gifted suggested exchanging prominent students between the two countries, so they can use their learnt knowledge to contribute to developing the bilateral diplomatic ties after graduation.

Meanwhile, the team of Lang Son’s Chu Van An High School for the Gifted suggested selecting an ambassador of each locality, who is responsible for researching and implementing measures to boost bilateral collaboration in education at their respective locality.

Students contribute ideas to foster Vietnam-US relations hinh anh 2Students receiving prizes from the organizing board (Photo: VietnamPlus).

Also approaching the education sector, students of the Cao Bang High School for the Gifted proposed organizing a “community English” charitable project, which has a target of improving the speaking skill for ethnic minorities through the support of local authorities and the US Embassy.

Also targeting people living in remote areas, students from Dak Nong’s Nguyen Chi Thanh High School for the Gifted presented an educational project through online platforms with the aim of providing equal learning opportunities for students in far-flung areas.

Meanwhile, students of Lai Chau’s Le Quy Don High School for the Gifted proposed a project calling on youths to join hands in boosting local tourism and promoting cultural values to international friends.

A chance to learn about bilateral relations

Candidates all said that the value of the contest is not the prizes, but it offers a chance for them to better their skills and understand more about Vietnam-US diplomatic relations.

Speaking at the event, US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink welcomed participating teams and congratulated them for advancing to the final round of the competition, which he considered an achievement in and of itself. He emphasized that all of the teams were already winners and represented Vietnam’s boundless talent and potential.

Students contribute ideas to foster Vietnam-US relations hinh anh 3US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink speaks at the contest (Photo: VietnamPlus)

“As I look across the room today, I see tremendous talent, drive, and ambition. All of you have gone above and beyond in succeeding in the preliminary rounds of this competition, and are the faces of Vietnam’s bright and promising future … In your dynamism, talent, drive, and aspiration, Vietnam has everything it needs to thrive and succeed,” stated Kritenbrink.

The competing teams from the gifted high schools across Vietnam focused on what the 25th anniversary of US-Vietnam diplomatic relations meant to them personally, while addressing different facets of the US-Vietnam bilateral partnership such as trade, cultural exchanges, the environment, science and technology, and education.

The ambassador presented certificates and prizes to contestants at the event’s conclusion. This celebratory event highlighted the close friendship and strong people-to-people ties between the US and Vietnam./.

The organizing board announced the contest’s results on October 9. Accordingly, the winner of the final round was the An Giang team. Meanwhile, Lang Son and Cao Bang teams were selected as the 1st and 2nd runners-up, respectively. The winning teams received cups and certificates of merit granted by the US embassy and online study scholarships presented by Hocmai Education, Inc. worth 4 million VND (172.8 USD) for each student. They were also presented with tickets to the Thought Leaders Conference organised by the embassy and the US-Vietnam Business Forum 2020 jointly held by Amcham Hanoi and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Students from the two remaining teams also received Hocmai scholarships and certificates of merit granted by the US embassy.