Biography: Tess began her speech and debate journey when she went to her first
Communicators for Christ Conference when she was 11 years old. She knew right away that
she wanted to be involved in speech (it took a few years before she also wanted to do
debate!) and she spent many years involved with the CFC organization. She completed
their Red Alumni Student Leadership Program, and took the knowledge she learned
through CFC, and along with her mother, the Days, and the Johnstons, started the Legacy
for Christ Speech and Debate Club of Orlando. Tess was blessed to compete in the NCFCA
for 4 years ~ both in Region 8 and Region 3. After Tess completed the list of goals she had
created when she first started competition, she decided to redirect herself to another passion,
theater. She was cast in her first professional production at the beginning of her Sr. year and has been
blessed to continue working as a professional actress and voice over artist throughout her high school and college years.
1. What did you do directly after high school?
I completed a degree in American Sign Language Interpretation at Valencia College and continued to perform at local professional and community theaters in the Orlando area.
2. What are you currently doing?
I am currently working as the summer marketing intern at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and performing one of my favorite roles in “The Music Man” with Central Florida Community Arts. In the fall I transfer to the University of North Florida in Jacksonville to pursue a major in psychology. I plan to complete a Master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology with the possibility of continuing on to receive my PhD. One of my ultimate goals is to work for Google.
3. Tell us about any awards, interesting adventures, etc. since you graduated high school.
I was on the President’s List every semester at Valencia College and I also completed two internships with the top performance interpreters in Florida (where I interpreted two musicals). I was awarded the 2+2 Scholarship at University of North Florida in addition to the Bright Futures Scholarship.
4. What is your favorite memory from your time in Legacy and the NCFCA?
I always loved the hilarity that came during sleepless nights back at our host homes.
5. How has doing speech and debate impacted who you are and what you ae doing today?
Speech and debate has helped me to effectively communicate the ideas that I had previously struggled to organize.
6. What is your message for those currently involved in speech and debate?
Give it everything you’ve got. Having been out of competition for a couple of years now, I regret that I didn’t do more. I wish I had taken full advantage of everything that speech and debate competition and Legacy has to offer. Don’t just do speech and think you have gotten “basically” the same thing as debate. Do both speech and debate.
7. What is your message for those considering adding speech and debate to their life?
This is the best thing you could possibly do for your future. It has prepared me for the real world in a way I never would have imagined. It has also prepared me for every portion of college and the work field; Everything from meetings, to interviews, to note taking during a lecture. I wish I had started sooner!
8. Anything else that you want to add?
Dare to dream big. Set your goals high and go after them with everything you’ve got. There is no limit to what you can accomplish.