1. What are you currently doing?
Directly after high school, I was blessed to start college at the University of Florida in the
honors program with a full-ride scholarship, where I am currently pursuing a major in plant
breeding & genetics and a minor in nutritional science. Recent experiences since high
school graduation include serving in Honduras through a medical mission trip, involvement
and leadership in multiple student organizations on campus, and working in an internship
at a maize genetics research lab.
2. Tell us about any awards, interesting adventures, etc. during or since you graduated high
In addition to the awards that I received from competing in the NCFCA, other meaningful awards received include the President’s Volunteer Service Award Gold Level with over 1,500 community service hours in high school, Asian American Heritage Council Student Achievers & Leadership Awards, NSHSS Claes Nobel National Scholar Award, Scholarships from NASA, Distinguished Young Women of Florida and Central Florida, UF College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and UF Honors Program. In high school, I loved serving people with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in the Dominican Republic and Orlando. I’m thankful for how the years of speech and debate have shaped the way that I communicate, and I look forward to seeing how Legacy for Christ continues to empower the future generation to communicate the truth in love.
3. What is your favorite memory from your time in Legacy and the NCFCA?
I really cherish the memories I have of praying with other students at tournaments before rounds & and the sticky note wall of encouragement/shoutouts at the Jonesboro tournament. I think that exemplifies the core of Region 8 - a group of students who seek to glorify God in everything they do and find a community along the way that has similar goals and mindsets. Looking back, those memories mean so much more to me than walking across the stage to receive an award, and I am eternally grateful for the blessing that Legacy & NCFCA has been.
4. How has doing speech and debate impacted who you are and what you are doing today?
Speech and debate have shaped who I am as a person and built my confidence as a speaker and leader. The communication skills that I've gained have been essential, whether it's in a scholarship interview or working with kids. Additionally, competing in speech and debate has fostered so many other skills, such as effective research, thinking about both sides of an issue, winning and losing with grace, and constantly pursuing excellence.
5. What is your message for those currently involved in speech and debate?
Stick with it and remember the why behind what you're doing. It's not about the end goal of winning a tournament or advancing to the next level (though that definitely is nice!). In the long run, it's about leaving a legacy for Christ, as well as the personal growth, skills, and friendships you'll gain along the way. Your time in the NCFCA will only last for a season, so make the most of this season by intentionally encouraging other students, even those you might not know very well.
6. What is your message for those considering adding speech and debate to their life?
Stop waiting for the perfect circumstances to start and just dive in! The skills you gain through speech and debate will serve you well wherever you go and teach you to look at situations from different angles. The earlier you start, the more room you have for growth and personal development, as well as more opportunities to glorify God, make friends, and encourage others. It's not always going to be easy, but get comfortable with being uncomfortable because that's where you'll grow. Good things don't grow overnight - they take time to grow, and speech and debate reflect that.