News Category: Colleges and Universities
article written by Ananya, also a news team contributor
Margaret Huai is a junior at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, CA. She’s the president and founder of Speakers United, a fast-growing speech and debate organization. We sat down with her and talked about her motives and passions.
What prompted you to start Speakers Unified? A:
I come from a smaller Speech and Debate program where resources are not plentiful and a lot of independence in the learning process of Speech and Debate has proven useful in my own experiences. For my teen peers all over the world, I would like to bring them the best high quality instruction that the American Speech and Debate community can offer them through the extensive competitive experience myself and other instructors have and also alleviate the discrepancy between males and females, especially in debate.
What enthralls you about speech and debate? What skills have you developed that have helped you in your daily life and how have you put them to good use? A:
Most of my competitive experience comes from Congressional Debate, and it’s especially applicable in our changing sociopolitical times as it is a direct model of the proceedings in Congress and Senate on Capitol Hill. Passing legislation and giving persuasive speeches to affirm or negate a resolution make me feel as if I am using my voice to propagate positive change starting from my immediate community, and I like this activity’s parallels with the processes our lawmakers undergo everyday in Washington D.C. As a Presiding Officer as well as a Senator at many tournaments including Stanford Varsity Congress and James Logan MLK Jr. Invitational, I’ve had the honor to hear a variety of different perspectives on so many pressing issues of our day and age and the relationships I’ve formed with others in this event have proven to be deeply personal, since our commonalities through Speech and Debate strengthens relationships more than many other extracurriculars can.
In my day-to-day life, Congress has changed the way I see the world and how I think, speak and write across so many disciplines. The skills I have attained in these aspects ripple throughout many activities I engage in, from classroom speeches to every article I write for Ptown Life. I’m also truly glad to have such a wonderful platform for self-expression, and I believe this has endowed me with a higher sense of self-confidence and truly understanding who I am as a speaker and debater.
I’ve also been able to apply these skills to several other extracurriculars, including serving as the president and founder of AVHS club Girls Who Start, dedicated to inspiring and empowering the next generation of female entrepreneurs and leaders through the examples of past and present female trailblazers that have been my role models and what I have aspired to be ever since I was young. As the Secretary for AVHS Kids for Health, I’m directly involved in spreading the message about the value of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to my fellow Amador students. Outside of school, I am on the executive board of The Quarter Note Project, which is an organization that offers free virtual instruction for multiple musical instruments and brings music into the hearts and homes of other youth. All in all, Speech and Debate transcends the boundaries of different fields and has given me so many opportunities to serve the worldwide community.
Do you think that public speaking and debates are valuable experiences to have? Why? A: Of course! Not only does every participant in these areas gain valuable confidence and a wide array of skill sets in relation to oration, but the entire experience is extremely eye-opening for every dedicated competitor in changing their perspectives on many day-to-day issues prevalent in our lives. Even though not every person will choose to go into humanities-related majors and careers, public speaking is always a valuable asset to have, from the most fundamental communication to future lines of work and social lives. I cannot stress enough how important it is to cultivate these skills as soon as possible because these skills stay with us for our whole lives and benefit us in hidden ways.
How do you hope to impact others’ lives with Speakers Unified?A:
My organization has an extensive student base spanning across six continents and thirty six countries and provides a platform for excellent instructors to offer their skills to the worldwide community.
Speakers Unified attracts and benefits students from a variety of backgrounds. Overall, every single person has big dreams and even greater aspirations for their future lives.
Impacting others’ lives with Speakers Unified isn’t just a hope of mine-it’s a reality. Providing all of these youth with the tools to speak and debate inside and outside of Speech and Debate will aid them greatly on their lifelong journeys. My organization has also created a welcoming international community of like-minded individuals and we will go on to aspire to new heights together.
What do you want to say to all aspiring speakers out there? A:
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For me, this pivotal first step was breaking out of my cage and learning to sing my own melody after I found my voice and speaking style. Do the same for yourself, and you will reap a lifetime of benefits. Fly higher into the unknown with your wings supported by your newfound speaking skills and see where the wind of life takes you. Always believe in yourself and your speaking abilities. You’re welcome to start this path today by joining the Speakers Unified family here. More details about Speakers Unified is on the websi
No Records Found
Sorry, no records were found. Please adjust your search criteria and try again.
Google Map Not Loaded
Sorry, unable to load Google Maps API.