Feel Good Friday: Speaking His Mind, Building His Character

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 7:47 PM EDT
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OTTAWA HILLS, Ohio (WTVG) - A local student is learning how to use his voice to not only become a better public speaker, but also to dig deeper into his heritage.

“Whatever happens, don’t give up your religion.”

Ottawa Hills fourth-grader, Bismann Singh, says that’s the biggest lesson he learned while taking part in the International Sikh Youth Symposium. The assignment: reading several books as an introduction to the Sikh religion, and then write a speech.

“I practiced a lot,” the 10-year-old recalled. “It was very, very, very hard!”

His parents supported him along the way, with pride.

“It involved a lot of courage to be on that stage, speaking in front of that many people,” said Bismann’s father, Sandeep Singh. “He did great. I’m so proud of him that way.”

Bismann won first place in the local and regional rounds, advancing him to the international competition, held in Rochester Hills. There he delivered his speech again, before his biggest audience yet.

When asked what it was like to do that, he laughed before describing the feeling as “nervous but excited, happy but sad.”

His mother, Pravleen Kaur, knew it was a challenge. Still, she said watching him blossom, and earning the “Distinguished Speaker” award.

“He was nervous I could tell before the speech, but as soon as he was on the podium, he was like, I got this,” she remembered.

Bismann plans to continue competing in the annual event, hoping one day to win first prize at the international level, as well.

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