1. What did you do directly after high school?
Directly after graduation, I started an online business. Over the summer the Whimzy Shop
Finally launched on Etsy.com. I also had the honor to be a guest writer for the online
journal, Integras: Faith, Politics, Society. My article, The Problem With “Worship Culture”
— How Postmodernism has Affected Youth Groups, addressed the abstract concept of a
worship experience, the difference between Biblical worship and verbal praise, and the
nature of youth groups today.
2. What are you currently doing?
I am a freshman at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, where I will study Physics and Art. On the side, I am learning the art of entrepreneurism with my online business, the Whimzy Shop, on Etsy.com where I sell original greeting cards of hot air balloon drawing designs. I hope to use my talents as acts of worship to our Father in heaven!
3. Tell us about any awards, interesting adventures, etc. since you graduated high school.
Since I am only a freshman in college, I received most of my awards during high school, being an Ambassador for the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) as well as a Claes Nobel National Scholar, Ronald Reagan Student Leader, Disney Scholar, and Prudential Spirit of Community Award Honoree. Last summer I received the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists’ Award of Excellence and helped represent my state as a Delegate to the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders.
Since then, I have enjoyed photography, painting, drawing, and cryptography (yes, I’m that kind of person). I also enjoy coordinating the social media for my business, The Whimzy Shop, making advertisements and sharing what I do!
4. What is your favorite memory from your time in Legacy and the NCFCA?
A while back, one of the state tournaments started supplying packs of sticky notes for people to write uplifting messages to fellow competitors (and often staff!) and post them on a wall or stage. This wall of encouragement became an instant trend that year and really showed our value of friendship and support over competition. It was a true blessing to participate and see genuine love in Region 8!
5. How has doing speech and debate impacted who you are and what you are doing today?
Public speaking grounded me in confidence and brought out the best in me. It gave me the opportunities I needed to grow as a student, as a Christian, and as a leader. (It also led me to my campus job in the Advancement Office at Covenant College!)
6. What is your message for those currently involved in speech and debate?
Ask for advice. You receive a lot of critique and tips at club –– it’s all priceless. The experienced student will recognize the value of outside feedback…so don’t be afraid to actively seek more help! Contact older students, alumni, or even some parents, and send them your speeches or cases, etc. They’re feel honored, and anything they give you will be worthwhile.
7. What is your message for those considering adding speech and debate to their life?
Too many times I’ve heard people say, “If only I knew about this sooner,” or, “I wish I had more time.” Start, and start now. The impacts are fundamental and life-changing, and therefore you want to enrich yourself in it for as long as possible. It equips both the mind and the heart, shaping the person on a far deeper level than its original purpose. We come so that we might learn the art of rhetoric, persuasion, and general communication, yet in the end we learn the art of friendship, the balance of humility and confidence, the thrill of competition, and the value of encouragement.