I got interested in Speech and Debate in 7th grade. When I started out, the very mention of public speaking petrified me. I still remember my first speech when I forgot half of my lines and stumbled throughout it. However, I wasn’t discouraged and continued to go to competitions. Eventually, my confidence and ability improved, and I finished top 5 in several tournaments. For the last two years, I have competed in extemporaneous speaking, more commonly referred to as extemp. For extemp, competitors have 30 minutes to prepare a 7-minute speech about a prompt related to current events. It’s a challenging category that has been a lot of fun and has taught me a lot, from staying cool under pressure to learning to be flexible. I highly recommend anyone to join Speech and Debate to build confidence, make friends, and have fun!
If you want to learn more, check out the speech and debate website
At my sending school, I was elected to the Student Council starting from freshman year. During my two years there, it was an amazing experience. We helped to plan and run various events and fundraisers around the school, as well as raise school spirit. It was a great chance to showcase our creativity, and also a fun challenge, as we needed to work within budgeting constraints. I got to learn so many different aspects of leadership, planning, and collaboration. Most importantly, I got to work with some incredibly talented people who all did their best to execute ideas and spread positivity. I also had the chance to volunteer at several organizations with the student council, such as Andy's Attic.
I’ve always been curious, which has led me to develop an interest in STEM. Towards this end, I’ve participated in as many activities as possible. In middle school, I competed in Destination Imagination, Lego Robotics, Science Olympiad, and math competitions such as Mathcounts. These were all fantastic introductions to STEM and taught me how to approach problem-solving. In high school, I wanted to try and use the skills I had learned up to that point to complete a research project. So, freshman year I attempted a project on a non-invasive form of treatment for arthritis patients. There were several obstacles I faced along the way, but that only added to the satisfaction I felt at the conclusion of my project. This year, I hope to delve deeper into research and complete a more comprehensive project, as well as learning new skills that I can employ even after I graduate.
At my sending school, I was part of the school newspaper for only a year. However, despite my short stint, I really enjoyed the activity. It was a great opportunity to hone my writing skills and write about any issue I wanted to a greater audience. I have always been interested in communication, and written communication is one of its most powerful forms. In the future, if I ever write any articles for fun, I might post them onto this website.