Hold the front page for Holly

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PUTTING pen to paper has paid off for Woodfarm high pupil Holly Gomez, who has reached the final of national writing competition.

The fifth year student may be gunning for a job at The Extra soon, as she’s down to the final 10 in the Amnesty International young human rights reporter of the year award.

Holly’s story on the plight of inmates in North Korean work camps impressed judges so much that she was plucked out of 2,000 entries and topped the six year journalism category.

The 16-year-old is delighted to be shortlisted, as the work of Amnesty International is a cause close to her heart.

Holly – who joined her parents and brother Craig in a £700-raising 10k run last year for the charity, and is a member of the school’s human rights action group – said: “I’m very honoured as I feel strongly about the North Korean camps.

“This has enabled me to increase the awareness of the devastating treatment of innocent people. If people become more aware of what is going on, then something can be done.”

She added that the competition “has also allowed me to exercise my writing ability”.

It’s fingers crossed at Woodfarm as Holly waits to find out if she has made the top three entries – then, if chosen, it’s off to London for an awards ceremony at the end of April.

The youngster submitted an article thanks to encouragement from social sciences teacher Graeme Thomson, and he commented: “It is inspiring to see a young person as passionate about human rights and injustice as Holly is.

“Everyone at Woodfarm high is incredibly proud of her achievement and I am delighted her thought-provoking article has been recognised.”

East Renfrewshire council’s convener of education and equalities, Paul O’Kane: “I am delighted Holly’s work has won the approval of the judges and I would like to congratulate her for her outstanding success.”