Abbi Reith

1. What did you do directly after high school?  

My time in Legacy and high school was a little different than the other student leaders,

and the answers for the first two questions are the same for me. So, I will use this space to

tell what I did while still in high school, but after Legacy. At the end of my Sophomore

year, I had the opportunity to begin dual enrollment at Seminole State College, where I

was able to finish my Associates degree one month after graduating high school. It was a

fantastic opportunity that the Lord really used to bring me closer to Him. Through my

experience at SSC, my faith was tested and my patience tried with professors who had very

different world views than that of my own. I think that Legacy really helped to prepare me mentally

and spiritually for this experience. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to participate in speech and debate, and wouldn't trade a minute of it! If you or someone you know is considering participating, I promise it is absolutely worth it. Speech greatly helped with teaching me how to present myself in a manner that is both poised and confident. Debate taught me to think critically and dissect a point of view. Both helped mold me into the person that I am today. 

2.  What are you currently doing?  

Now, as both a high school and 2 year college graduate, I am currently waiting for fall classes to start. This will be the first semester of my Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program at Adventist University, which is the next step to becoming an occupational therapist. I've wanted to attend ADU for just over 3 years, and now the Lord has opened the door for me to attend. I'm so excited to see what He has planned for me here! Other than that, I am finding a job and a new car. Not quite as exciting... 

3.  Tell us about any awards, interesting adventures, etc. since you graduated high school.  

I am so grateful that the Lord has blessed my education so far, I was able to graduate from high school Summa Cum Laude, from Seminole State College Magna Cum Laude, with a membership to Phi Theta Kappa. Because of this, I was accepted into my school of choice as a Junior and am so excited to start! I can't wait to see how the Lord will grow me this semester, and during the rest of my time there. I have no grand adventures planned because I love my house way too much to go anywhere worth telling about. 

4.  What is your favorite memory from your time in Legacy and the NCFCA?

A favorite memory of mine from NCFCA is all the times we gathered to pray before rounds. Whether it was only 2 people, or a group of 10, there was an unspoken love for each other and a common goal to see others succeed. I was so encouraged by the body of Christ and their willingness to serve those around them. It is so exciting to me to see other young people stepping up and striving to help others.  Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." This was greatly demonstrated within the NCFCA and Legacy community. It's amazing to see so many kids from different places be able to come together with the common goal to have fun and do their best for the Lord. Another favorite memory of mine is all of the card games played between rounds at tournaments and during lunch. I loved the bonding that took place over the course of just a few days. There is something unique about that, that isn't found anywhere else. 

5.  How has doing speech and debate impacted who you are and what you are doing today?  

This is a huge question. Speech and debate have both greatly influenced my confidence, and how I carry myself in the world. When I started in Legacy, I was the dorky kid who was incredibly nervous, and constantly looked for an open door so I could make a run for it. On the way to EVERY club I would quite eat a few Rolaids- not kidding. After a year or so of community platforms, a few tournaments, and lots of practice with Mom, I was finally feeling pretty confident about my speaking skills. Debate was actually one of my favorite things about my time in Legacy- I just wish I hadn't waited until my last year to start it. However, even in that short time, debate gave me critical thinking skills that were so helpful at Seminole State, and in my everyday life. Because of debate, I am able to pull things apart and analyze them in a way that I had never been able to do beforehand. Also, the benefit of learning how to write at the speed of light and still be able to read it after, is a wonderful skill that I use on a daily basis. It is also extremely gratifying to be able to read chicken scratch. 

6.  What is your message for those currently involved in speech and debate?  

My message for those who are currently in speech and debate is this: prepare, memorize, and learn. Prepare for tournaments in advance and not the night before. Trust me. If you haven't experienced putting IO boards together at 3 am the night before a tournament, you're doing it right. Memorize your speeches. The first speech I had memorized broke to finals at every single tournament, and I was able to compete at Regionals, which was so much fun! A big lesson for me that I want to encourage you in, is to learn from your mistakes and then fix them. Don't wait around for the debate case to write itself, or for your speech to be absorbed into your brain by osmosis. It might sound a little rough, but hear me out, because I want you to be the best you can be! So, my golden nugget of wisdom is to procrastinate as little as possible, because then you will probably break to Nationals. ;) On a more serious note, it is really important to learn these skills. Remember though, not to become arrogant or prideful. God gave you the talents that you have, so use them for His glory! Also, make sure to listen to those who are helping you with your cases and speeches. Whether it is the judge in a round, or a parent or friend at club, it is your responsibility to be wise enough to accept critique and advice. You may not agree or particularly like what they suggest, but humble yourself to listen and try it. If you don't like it, it's ok! You don't have to use it, just try it. You may be pleasantly surprised. Another gold nugget is to remember where you are now and where you want to be, and then to think of how you can pull others up with you. Think of ways to encourage those around you, and how you can build them up. Have an attitude of humility, service, and encouragement. I cannot express how grateful I am to Mrs. Carr for starting Legacy, and to my parents for pushing me to participate. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life, and I learned so much. Soak up all of the moments you have there, because even though they go by quickly, those moments will help mold you into the person that God has created you to be. Just ask Him to lead you. 

7. What is your message for those considering adding speech and debate to their life?  

My message for those who are considering adding speech and debate is simple: DO IT. NOW. You will not regret it in the slightest. As I've mentioned a few times already, I have learned so much from speech and debate. God used my time there to mold me into the confident young woman that I am today, and I can't imagine my life now without them. The skills that speech can teach about how to present yourself in a manner that is poised, I think, is necessary for everyone. It taught me how to carry myself in a way that was meek. In much the same way, debate is a teacher of analysis and critical thinking. It taught me how to politely and firmly stand my ground, and how to dissect an invalid argument respectfully. It also helped me to refine my research and writing skills, which has been invaluable in college. 

8. Anything else that you want to add? All in all, I cannot be more thankful for my time in Legacy. I will never forget the memories I have with the life long friends I made, and I am grateful for those relationships. Speech and debate is not just an extra-curricular activity to put on a transcript. It almost teaches you a different way to live- a new way to think, and a new way to be. It can teach you how to build others up, and how to better yourself. It really is life changing, and I loved (most) every minute of it. To God be all the glory!