Senior Sama Kubba delivers Path of Paper and HOLA speech to PA’s staff


Photo courtesy of Sama Kubba.

Mackenzie Bernas, Staff Writer

By Mackenzie Bernas 

Senior Sama Kubba stood in front of PA’s teachers to deliver a speech earning support for Path of Paper and HOLA. She described the experience as ‘nerve wracking’ because contrary to her previous speeches, her audience consisted of the people she thinks highly of at PA. “They’re all these people that I respect and really look up to and they’re all watching me speak,” said Kubba.

Path of Paper is a Fair Trade and nonprofit company that sells jewelry out of recycled paper by women artisans in Uganda which allows all of them to provide for their families and themselves. HOLA is also a non-profit organization that centers on supporting Latin American families. The main objective is “to really try and support the rural side of Nicaragua only because those are the kids that don’t have access to education and health care, a lot of the basic stuff,” said Kubba, who serves on HOLA’s executive board and also visited Nicaragua to interview some of the women there. 

Kubba admitted that she was nervous because these were “the people that I absolutely love.” 

“These are teachers that I highly respect,” said Kubba, who regularly gives speeches for Path of Paper, Sister Cities, and HOLA. “They’re very well educated, really great people who are giving their time in a profession that just does not appreciate them fully.” 

Kubba made this whole event possible when she decided to initiate the speech herself and ask the administration. She made sure to make it crystal clear how great a cause it is she’s supporting and her passion on the subject when she was pitching the idea about the speech. Her goal was to reach out to “an audience with a very open mind,” and raise support for these nonprofit organizations. Kubba believes  “…to really create action, you need the school donations, you need the school’s support from the people around you,” and she accomplishes this to be of greater help to Path of Paper and HOLA.

Kubba has communicated her passion for Path of Paper in multiple speeches. She has spoken previously at the mayor’s state of the city address, the convention center, the Town City Center Club, the mayor’s office, and during gifted resource training at PA. 

“You’re empowering these women to have a sustainable income of their own,” said Kubba, who pointed out that this is “not common in Uganda.” Kubba also relays her love for the message of independence and empowerment: “Men are usually the breadwinners, so for women to be empowered [and] to be able to take care of their families like that, it’s so amazing.” Their income is a result of their skilled handmade products. “One of the really cool things about these women is that they are legitimately artisans,” said Kubba. She also explained how time gave these women the opportunity to start “to have the tricks of the trade,” as their products improved. 

Kubba also expresses her struggles as a representative of the youth: “Because I’m younger, it takes a little bit more effort for me to sell things.” Kubba says this is only because she has to establish herself as more mature to sell products. “It’s so funny. You go to the Fair Trade Festival and there’s me on one side and there’s the co-founder on the other,” she said. “We’re both trying to sell things, but people will go to her just because they think she just looks more professional than I do, she looks wiser than I do.” Kubba does think that “people will pay attention to a younger person” when it comes to speeches as they help her to establish herself as enthusiastic and capable despite her young age. 

Public speaking is what Kubba brought to the table of these non-profit organizations and as the voice of the youth, Kubba’s speeches are very energetic. “It’s kind of entertaining watching me speak,” said Kubba, who admitted her facial expressions are funny to watch. In the faculty meeting, Kubba was more comfortable with the audience and she knew she wanted to present a speech that was “far more natural” rather than having to put on a show for her audience. 

Kubba ultimately drew confidence in her speech from the knowledge of how supportive PA’s teachers are. “Most of the teachers here are amazing because they’re passionate about their jobs,” she said. The nerves even lent her a helping hand because “it keeps you on your toes a little bit.” Kubba thinks the balance of confidence and nerves make for the perfect recipe for delivering a good speech. “The manner in which you give a speech should really depend on the way that you think,” said Kubba. This is the best way for what’s on one’s mind to be projected to the audience. Kubba loves this aspect of public speaking and believes when it comes to speeches, “you know your story better than anyone else.”

Overall, Kubba was able to deliver a confident speech because of the supportive nature of the teachers at PA. “If you really have a passion for something, they will support you in trying to pursue that passion,” said Kubba. If she wasn’t at PA, she “would not have this much freedom to engage in stuff that I just absolutely love.”