From nervous nelly to champion of the Model United Nations, Leona is a true example of what it feels like to be unstoppable! After watching her in action in our latest ad for Feel Unstoppable, we sat down with Leona to find out what helped her find her voice.
Tell us about your experience on NCS
My experience was unexpected, to say the least. I was able to meet many people that I wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to, allowing me to understand different perspectives and be more open-minded to views - that I snobbishly might have considered as ‘ignorant’ before! Everyone got to see me as my unfiltered self, which helped create lasting friendships that I still have now. They have genuinely allowed me to change into the person that I am today, and I do not regret any part of the experience.
Had I not met some of the friends that I did during summer, I also never would have made the decision to move to my current sixth form. My new friends were able to give me a realistic view of the school and whether I would fit in, and the move is one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.
Why did you decide to take part in the NCS Unstoppable advert?
When I was given the opportunity, I was nervous but extremely excited about meeting the crew and talking with the assistant directors about their vision for the advert. As I had never done anything like this before, it was really interesting and gave me the opportunity to feel like I had achieved my childhood dream of being in front of the camera!
What was it like working in front of the camera?
The whole experience gave me a newfound appreciation for the process of making an advert, with all of the intricate details that I had never even considered were essential. Although I was nervous at first, I feel it helped me with my confidence and feeling less uncomfortable about having people I don’t know looking at me - which is, of course, helpful for public speaking.
When was the last time you felt Unstoppable?
I attended my second Model United Nations conference where we were one of only two state schools at the event. Although I was not very experienced in MUN at this stage, I was able to win a trophy for best delegate in my committee, which is something that I was extremely proud of. We also won a prize for best delegation, which surrounded by some of the best private schools in the country was something none of my group even considered winning!
What do you think it means to be Unstoppable?
When our delegation was announced we were all in utter shock. Having not planned a speech, one of the younger members of our team candidly expressed his gratitude as me and my friend stood frozen in disbelief. To me, this epitomises the idea of being ‘Unstoppable’. Surpassing expectations no matter the challenges.
Do you have any advice for someone considering NCS?
My biggest piece of advice is first to go and secondly to try and meet as many new people as possible! Push yourself as much out of your comfort zone as you can, cringe as that may sound because that is honestly the only and best way of truly benefiting from the experience.