1. What did you do directly after high school?
Directly after high school, I decided to take a gap year to work and pray about what was
next for my life. Shortly after graduation, I went on my first overseas mission trip to
Cambodia! Little did I know, this trip would change the course of my life! You see,
traveling was never something I had any desire to do. However, the Lord works in crazy
amazing ways, and next thing I knew I was on a flight across the world! God surprised me
during my trip, He revealed to me that I actually have an adventurous heart! After
experiencing the joy of sharing Jesus in Cambodia, I had a new-found desire to travel and
share the good news everywhere!!
2. What are you currently doing?
I am currently in the middle of the School of Ministry Development (SOMD) at Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Orlando. I am learning all about how to walk in leadership, as well as what it looks like to be involved in full time ministry! I completed my first school with YWAM this past fall, and after graduation I knew that I was called to do an SOMD. I am currently living on campus and am in classes for three months. After that three month period, I will spend two months on outreach in Thailand and Cambodia.
3. Tell us about any awards, interesting adventures, etc. since you graduated high school.
I feel like my whole life has been one wild adventure since graduation! I have had the opportunity to go on mission trips to Cambodia, Japan, Costa Rica, and Haiti, so there are tons of amazing stories that came out of each of those trips. I love talking about all the incredible things the Lord did in each nation! If you want to hear some wild stories, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
4. What is your favorite memory from your time in Legacy and the NCFCA?
I have SO many incredibly dear memories from Legacy and the NCFCA. Starting with Legacy, I really just loved club days. It was such a fun time of fellowship and productivity in a really encouraging environment. The unity of club definitely had an effect on how much I enjoyed tournaments as well. Breaks (announcing those who advanced to the next level of competition) were one of my favorite parts of tournaments, but not simply because I wanted to advance in the tournament. I actually enjoyed breaks more when they happened further on in the competition, and I knew I wasn't continuing on. I remember the eager anticipation of waiting to see if my friends or siblings had advanced to the next level of competition. It was really sweet to see the true “family” element of the NCFCA during breaks, to be able to share in excitement when people advanced, and also to share in comforting/encouraging those who didn't. I love unity and strong relationships, so tangibly being able to see both of those things during breaks was so special.
5. How has doing speech and debate impacted who you are and what you are doing today?
Speech and Debate have helped me SO much in my day to day life. You never know when someone is going to put a microphone in front of you and ask if you would share a few words! Legacy definitely increased my confidence as a speaker and individual, which is very helpful when it comes missions. On every outreach I have been a part of, I have been asked (fairly last minute) to speak in front of people. I believe that my years in Legacy prepared me for those moments in front of audiences, but also for one-on-one conversations. During critique sessions at Legacy, you have to talk to those critiquing you! Those times specifically helped me a lot when it came to truly listening to the ideas of others, as well as simply improving my speaking skills when talking to only a few people. So not only has speech and debate made me more confident in front of audiences, I believe it has also had a huge effect on how I communicate with those around me on a daily basis.
6. What is your message for those currently involved in speech and debate?
Don't take the platform you have been given for granted. Let's say you only do one speech at one tournament and you don't advance, that is still six people that you have in front of you listening to what you have to say. So, what do you have to say? The NCFCA may be one of the only times where you have the undivided attention of an audience. After I graduated, one of the most surprising things I found was how rare the art of truly listening is in our society. It is hard to hold someone's attention for even two minutes! So the fact that current competitors have multiple people listening to them for a full ten minutes is such a gift. This is far more than simply a competition. Your words truly have the potential to change the lives of many!!
7. What is your message for those considering adding speech and debate to their life?
The benefits of adding speech and debate to your life stretch far beyond your middle school/high school career. I know this is said often, but it cannot be more true!! I could talk for hours about how speech and debate has helped me in literally every area of my life. If you are terrified, I totally understand. Does public speaking make you want to throw up? You are not the only one. However, the best way to overcome this fear is to simply dive right in. I cannot think of a better way to grow in confidence as a speaker and overcome fear than Legacy and the NCFCA. It's a small price of temporary discomfort in exchange for rewards that last a lifetime!