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Four Debate students qualify to Nationals

 How have you overcome your fears?

  The debate team at Joplin High School (JHS) have four students going to Dallas, Texas for NSAD nationals. They include: Jeannine Crawford, Megan Peterson, Samuel Peterson and Spencer Vreeland.

  “The award I won shows that I am able to have a more creative mindset but also be serious about a certain issue. It shows I am more open minded and altruistic about different measures. The award says to people there are multiple opportunities you can take,” said junior nationalist Spencer Vreeland.

  Each student has made new friendships, gotten out of their comfort zone and enjoy the community.

  ”My favorite thing is definitely the people. I don’t get to hang out with friends a lot because I don’t know how to drive yet. So going to speech and debate means, one I get to miss friday classes. Also I get to hang out with some of my favorite people two days a week, usually all day long. We’ll do bus rides back and forth. We have some of the funnest stories,” said junior nationalist Jeanine Crawford.

  JHS debate students learn how to see the world in a more equal way, problem solve and dig deeper than the surface.

  “One of the things that debate forces me to do is think differently about the way I see the world. Because when you have a debate topic you always have to debate both sides even if you don’t agree with one. You have to find evidence to support each and have a reasonable interpretation,” said junior nationalist Samuel Peterson.

  Lots of students join debate to get comfortable speaking in public. Many say it helps them overcome their fears.

 “I have anxiety pretty bad, I found it very hard to talk to people before I joined debate. It kind of helped. I had to face the fears and overcome them because you are performing five times a week and sometimes more for a bigger tournament,” said Crawford. “You have to walk in and give your speech no matter how scared you are and not let them know you’re scared. After awhile I got more comfortable with talking to the point now I don’t ever shut up.”

  From the outside looking in you may just see a group of kids that like to talk, have fun and are very confident in themselves. But if you go deeper and take time to see what debate is all about you’ll see another side to them.

  “My first impression was weird, I was an impressionable freshman and debate people are a bit flamboyant perhaps. But I quickly got to realise the community was a really great community and there were great people there,” said Peterson.

  Going to NSAD, in Dallas Texas will be an exciting trip. The students are proud of their hard work and are ready to show the competitors and judges what they’re made of.

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