As I entered my sophomore year at Phoenix Military Academy, I truly wanted to be on the debate team. I felt like I needed to be a debater because I always argued and pressed issues that I firmly believed in. On the other hand, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. At times it was hard and I wanted to quit, but my coach, Mr. Robert Edwards, was an inspiring and devoted individual who wanted every member for our team to get the most out of their debate experiences. It was because my coach showed so much interest in our education that I decided to stick with debate.
It took me a while to really catch on to debate, but once I did it was not long before I realized that staying on the team would require hard work. Over the course of my first year on the team, and during that ensuing summer, I developed a strong work ethic that I brought back to my team.
I became so dedicated to debate that I didn’t even mind spending my weekends at day-long tournaments. I worked countless days and grueling nights cutting cards and making sure I was going to be prepared to face the best teams in my conference.
Debate was also fun. It was like a giant social event! I met new people and I also gained networking skills, which will help me in my future after college.
When my partner and I won first place at the first tournament of our junior year, I knew I was doing something right. The motivation to work transferred to my schoolwork as well. I became addicted to all the knowledge I was acquiring and I applied it to the work I had to do in class. My hard work and dedication paid off when I received a Posse Scholarship at the end of my junior year, and I decided to attend Denison University in Granville, Ohio.
I am now entering my second year at Denison as an education major. I spent my summer at the Chicago Debate Commission as an intern. I talk to ex-debaters about their experiences and am learning what it takes to run a debate program in hope that one day I can be a part of the success story of the CDL.
I am so happy that I stayed in debate and I am proud to have the CDL be a part of my success story.