1. What are you currently doing?
I am currently attending Gordon College in Massachusetts, studying International Relations
2. Tell us about any awards, interesting adventures, etc. during or since you graduated
I gained invaluable communication and writing skills through the NCFCA and Legacy
that has allowed me to write scholarship essays and succeed in interviews that earned me
thousands of dollars for my college career. Through Legacy, I was able to earn the Gold Level two
years in a row for the President's Volunteer Service Award, something I can keep on my resume for the rest of my life. Also, NCFCA supplied me with plenty of adventures during my high school career, like meeting other teens from across the country (who I’m still friends with) and visiting states up and down the east coast.
3. What is your favorite memory from your time in Legacy and the NCFCA?
That’s such a tough question because at every tournament I competed over the five years, I have more than one memory that sticks in my brain as something I will never forget. I’ll just pick one: At the 2019 National Championship, they had a giant scavenger hunt at Anderson University for the competitors. I’ve never had more fun in my life running around with hundreds of teenagers completing random tasks like looking for the "house with the lady who has the cookies." I think this memory speaks to the amount of fun the community of NCFCA competitors, parents, and administrators have all the time, even if most of the time we’re wearing suits and high heels.
4. How has doing speech and debate impacted who you are and what you are doing today?
During my time in the NCFCA, I saw people walk away from heated debates as friends, which completely changed my view of what debate could be. In the NCFCA, they value intelligent and respectful discourse, and I loved the way such intense topics were handled so professionally. I decided that I want to work as a diplomat in some capacity because I learned the importance of calm debate that allows for agreement in some places and disagreements in others. It may seem weird that I decided I wanted to help people agree while learning how to debate, but that’s exactly what competing in the NCFCA prepares you for: an intelligent discourse that’s respectful and brings glory to God.
5. What is your message for those currently involved in speech and debate?
Keep at it. I didn’t advance in Team Policy debate until my third year, but that year my partner and I made it to finals. And you know what made the difference that year? Practicing. Crazy, right? Prepping for new cases, practicing my speeches until I lost my voice, memorizing and adding blocking to my speeches before the tournament season started, that’s what gave me a head start. The more work you put into it, the better you’ll be. I didn’t believe that for the first few years of competition, but when I finally realized it, I started doing well, and you can too! You got this, I believe in you, I love you, I miss you (even if I never knew you), and you are going to do fantastically. Also, don’t forget to pray with people outside the competition rooms. It calms your nerves and their nerves like nothing else because it reminds you that you don’t have to do your speech or debate alone: God’s got you.
6. What is your message for those considering adding speech and debate to their life?
Do it. I’m not going to pretend that it’s going to be easy all the time. I’d be lying if I said I loved every minute of the hard work and dedication it took to do well in the league. There were tears and panic sessions, but those happen with any ‘sport’ you compete in. I can confidently say that every minute was worth it because of the skills I gained and the friendships I made. I used italics because I want you to know how much I believe that statement. I would not be who I am without speech and debate, without NCFCA, without Legacy. I cannot stress enough how much it will change your life for the better.