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Teen talent

Nikila Srinivasan celebrates her teen spirit after bagging the `Teen of the Year' crown


FOR NIKILA, it was one of the most memorable moments when she was crowned the teenager of the year recently. "I have heard of many awards such as entrepreneur of the year, artists of the year and so on, but this was the first time I heard about a pageant being held for teenagers," smiles a beaming Nikila Srinivasan showing her trophy. A standard XI student from Holy Angel's Convent, Nikila was nominated by her Principal to participate in this contest. Being the first person from Chennai to have won this contest, she says that it has given her more reason to celebrate her teen spirit.

`The Teen of the Year' is an overall personality pageant conducted by Teenager, a national youth magazine. Through this contest, the magazine aims to bring together teens from across the country with a spirit to recognise their potential. Though this is the eighth year that the contest is being organised, it is first time that it is held in South India. "The contest is open for boys and girls in their teens. It aims to bring out the inner beauty and celebrate the spirit of individuals," says this Assistant Head girl of Holy Angel's Convent. The preliminary round was held in various zones across the country and finalists from each region participated in the final round held in Mumbai in November.

"During the three-day finals, we were being watched and assessed in all our activities. They tested our leadership traits through group dynamics and we were also assessed on general knowledge, interaction with other participants, and personal interviews with a panel of judges." The final round and "the most difficult" was the talent round where the 21 finalists had to showcase their talent in front of a large gathering at St. Andrews auditorium, Mumbai.

With a natural talent for public speaking and with the experience of having compered for many school competitions and functions, Nikila found it easy to speak rather than sing or dance. "I spoke on plurality and focussed on this year's theme for the contest — Indian youth called to make a difference. What next for this budding talent? Drawing inspiration from Kalpana Chawla, she aspires to become an aeronautical engineer. "But for now I have nothing much than to look forward to my `most crucial year'— standard XII."

PRASSANA SRINIVASAN

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