Student Spotlight: Sabrina Richard – Westfield – Towne Post Network
Sabrina Richard, a senior at Westfield High School, is the first Westfield student to receive a speech and debate scholarship.
“Next year, I will be at the University of Alabama, where my plan is to double my studies in gastronomy and mass media,” says Richard. “I am extremely honored by the scholarship I received for a speech and a debate. I insisted on having a signing day, because I see so many athletes signing, and I wanted to show other students that they could win scholarships for accolades beyond athletics or academics.
Richard had a very busy school year.
“Like the athletes, I signed a letter of commitment, and I have meetings and training sessions that have been requested of me, ”she says. “I told myself that, like the athletes, I could sign it in my high school. I invited my coaches, Ralph Robinson and Holly Reineking, my scout from Alabama, and my family.
The school administration team at Westfield High School were very excited for her and very supportive of her application.
“I was able to sign the second week of March, right after competing in the speech districts, and I got a spot to compete in the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Louisville this summer,” says Richard. “It capped off a really exciting week for me.
Richard says if students know where to look for scholarships and what to apply for, they can find plenty of opportunities.
“Many schools offer scholarships for this or that, and even if it sounds weird, someone has to earn it,” he says. “I visited Alabama early in my high school career and knew that was where I wanted to go to school. I’ve heard of their forensic team, and it’s one of the most decorated teams in the country.
Richard was able to meet the team at the Nationals Speech and Debate.
“I quickly started working to earn a spot on the team,” she says. “I haven’t heard of the scholarship‘s existence until my junior year, but it just goes to show that there is something for everyone.
“I’ve been in speech and debate since seventh grade,” she continues. “My math teacher was starting the team, and one day I talked too much in her class and she demanded that I join her. I‘I’m very glad she did. At Westfield High School, I continued to compete, and my freshman year, I became the first Westfield freshman to qualify for the National Speech and Debate Tournament.
Richard also became the first Westfield student to qualify four times.
“The best part of Speech and Debate has been the community,” she says. “For my Girl Scout Gold Award, I hosted the first-ever girls-only speech and debate meeting. This past school year was the first face-to-face meeting we‘which I have had since March 2020. More than the excitement of Westfield’s good spot or the excitement of finishing my Gold Award, my favorite part of the day was watching the contestants come together.
Richard says there were old people who didn’t have‘I haven’t seen their Speech friends for nearly two years.
“There were freshmen, sophomores, and juniors experiencing their very first in-person speech encounter,” she says. “In the hallways between rounds, I saw people exchanging contact information, giving advice and offering encouragement – all of those things that made me fall in love with speaking and debating. I am proud to organize this for those who participated in my competition.
Richard, who appeared on the Food Network, says Speech and Debate has dramatically improved his communication skills.
“While Speech taught me a lot about presentation and expression, Speech and Debate taught me how to be confident,” says Richard. “I feel like a more capable and stronger person when I use the skills that speaking and debating have taught me. The competition improved my ability to deal with stress and criticism, and the practices instilled in me strong public speaking skills, which improved my ability to discuss ideas, opinions and issues. which are important to me. I know Speech and Debate has made me a better self-advocate, which only benefits me in my personal and professional relationships.
In addition to being captain of the Speech and Debate team, Richard is the public relations officer for Westfield High School.‘s Lantern digital journal, and she has been with the team for three years.
“I’m a content manager for Rock TV Westfield‘s video ads,” she says. “I co-founded and host for Rock Talk, which is Westfield‘s version of a TED Talk.
Richard thinks the best part of Westfield is the variety of opportunities available.
“Westfield has the advantages of many businesses – small and large chain stores,” she says. “There are the incredible facilities in Grand Park, and of course we should be proud of the outstanding schools in Westfield. All of these wonderful things happen in lands steeped in history. Westfield is a community enriched by its past, which makes the future all the more exciting.