1. What did you do directly after high school?
I attended the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.
2. What are you currently doing?
Well, right now I’m at BCT, Basic Cadet Training which is like Boot Camp. They call it
Beast1 and Beast2. I’ve finished BCT1 and am currently in BCT2 which includes two weeks
of survival training at Jack’s Valley where you live off the land, build your own shelter and
basically learn to work together to survive the two weeks. If all goes well, in the future I’ll
graduate from the Air Force Academy as an officer and go directly into pilot training for fighters.
My goal is to fly fighters for ENJJPT (Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program)
3. Tell us about any awards, interesting adventures, etc. since you graduated high school.
Since I just graduated in May, I would have to say, not to brag but to make you aware of the possibilities, that what amazed me most were all the scholarship offers I received from multiple colleges, both public and private in addition to the coveted level 1 ROTC scholarship from the Navy and the level 2 ROTC scholarship from the Air Force. The Appointment to the Air Force Academy alone is a $450,000 scholarship without pilot training. Once you add pilot training you are looking at well over a million dollars. I would attribute these awards, especially the ROTC and the Air Force Academy Appointment to the speaking skills I learned from Legacy and the competition offered by the NCFCA. These particular scholarships required multiple interviews, both one on one, before a panel of officers and before a Board appointed by the Senators in my area and my Representative. I believe the skills I learned through both Legacy and the NCFCA helped set me apart from the competition. I am forever indebted to both organizations for the skills they’ve taught me. I will use these skills for the rest of my life, as an Officer in the United States Air Force and beyond.
4. What is your favorite memory from your time in Legacy and the NCFCA?
Wow, there are so many great memories! I have made life-long friends from the people I’ve met at Legacy, Nathanael Spencer and Jesse Shaffer will always be my best friends. The memory I have of taking a “selfie” with Daniel Terrell before a finals debate round with all the spectators in the background was epic. I’ll always cherish the debates where I got to debate my sister Taylor, even the finals round where she beat me! I loved winning Regionals this past year too, kind of made up for my little sister beating me earlier. Probably my best memories are the after-parties at the end of a long, hard tournament. The ability to go from intense competition to friendly get-togethers where you eat a great meal together has always been a highlight for me.
5. How has doing speech and debate impacted who you are and what you are doing today?
I’ve kind of answered this question earlier, but I believe that speech and debate has changed my life. I know the skills I’ve learned by competing in speech and debate have opened doors for me that would not have been opened otherwise. Speech and Debate has allowed me to reach my life-long goal (well, since I was twelve) of attending the Air Force Academy so that I can, in the future, be an Academy trained Air Force officer and God willing, someday a fighter pilot.
6. What is your message for those currently involved in speech and debate?
Keep at it! The skills you learn here will serve you the rest of your life. It’s kind of like putting money away early, it keeps paying you dividends every day, month and year. It’ll make you rich! Think about all the skills you’re developing, critical thinking skills, being able to think on your feet, analytical skills, the ability to speak in public, argumentation skills, logic, organization and research skills, how to connect with people, how to read people, learning to lose gracefully, learning to win graciously and the list goes on and on. Where in life will you NOT use these skills? Maybe if you live under a rock, but in the real world, these skills are valuable, and not just to you, but also to those who depend on you.
7. What is your message for those considering adding speech and debate to their life?
Just Do It!! If God has brought this program to your attention, it’s probably because he wants you to take part in it. I’m absolutely sure that he will use it for your benefit and to His glory.