2015-16: A Reflection
by Jordyn Zimmerman, Mentor HS (CLE) Class of 21016; 2015-16 National Speech & Debate Association National Student-of-the-Year Finalist; current Bobcat Speech & Debate team member at Ohio University
“Through speech and debate, we can create inclusive communities where everyone has the opportunity to tell his or her story.”
When I switched to Mentor High School for the 2015-16 school year, I never envisioned myself joining the speech and debate team. However, that all changed when I addressed Mentor School’s staff on opening day and one of the coaches publicly asked if I wanted to join the team.
Although I thought she was joking at the time, the superintendent convinced me otherwise. On the first day of school, I was unofficially a member of Mentor’s speech and debate team, and by October, I had an informative speech ready to go.
My first competition was in December. Even though I spent my time rocking back and forth, essentially ignoring the world around me, I was hooked within just a few minutes of being in my first round. I walked away from my first tournament with some fairly good rankings, which I didn’t deserve.
For the first couple months, I wasn’t able to keep eye contact with the judges and simultaneously gesturing while using my iPad seemed nearly impossible. Yet, every Saturday I competed and the Cleveland District embraced a new way of thinking. Continue reading Inspiration for 2016-17: Impact that Lasts a Lifetime