Keeley Higley on her way to D.C.
Keeley Higley, senior at La Porte High School, entered and won the Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy contest at the state level and will compete in D.C. this March for the National title.
Everyone familiar with Higley knows that she goes above and beyond the call of duty. Higley is the president of the Speech and Debate Society, the secretary of Interact club, and president of her 4H group; she is also a member in Student Council, English Academic Super Bowl, the school newspaper and the Principal’s Student Advisory Board. She puts her time and effort in activities other than just school work in general, finding time to tutor individuals and volunteer.
“Keeley is a wildly special individual. While her academic ability is off the charts, her heart and willingness to give of herself is even greater. She makes all those around her better,” Miss Parker, newspaper adviser, said.
Higley holds a 4.0 GPA, alongside all of this school involvement. She places an immense amount of value on her grades. It is very important to her that she keeps her grades up and continues to do her best.
“For me, my motivation is entirely intrinsic. There’s satisfaction in doing well, so why not try my hardest and do my best?” Higley said.
Higley had been in Debate for three years but wanted to switch it up this year with Speech events instead. Considering that the levels of this contest were speech driven, Higley put in her effort and succeeded.
“Debate helped me hone my speaking skills; I know how to speak clearly and when to emphasize certain words, and since the audio contest was judged partly on delivery, I think that really helped my success.” Higley said.
The writing prompt of the contest was “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” After the essay was written, Higley was asked to record herself reading the speech and send the paper and audio copy to her local VFW post. At this time, Higley thought nothing of this, and figured that there were too many people to amount to anything.
A few days before Thanksgiving, Higley was told she had won on the contest’s local level. In just a matter of time after, she received an important phone call saying that she had won at the district level as well as against 319 people at the state level. What Higley thought was just another speech turned into an experience of a lifetime.
“To me, this award means that my ideas and my thoughts actually matter. I wrote and delivered a really personal speech, filled with my own beliefs about our nation’s history and our nation’s future, so to have that speech win and advance to Nationals means that people heard my words, and those words had impact. I’ve always been outspoken, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve always been heard or taken seriously; this award is me and my ideas finally being heard.” Higley said.
On March 17th, Higley gets to attend the State award ceremony. At the national level she competes against 53 other individuals in the chance to be the winner.
We wish Higley the best of luck on this journey.
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