Speech and debate captain earns All American Award

Amara Del Prato, Entertainment Editor

Jasmin Prasad became the first Bear Creek student to earn the prestigious All American Award for her accomplishments in Speech and Debate. Prasad, a senior, joined Speech and Debate in her freshman year and will join the fewer than 1,000 student orators nationwide to claim this award.
To qualify for the All American award, Speech and Debate students must have a GPA above 3.8, an ACT score over 27, an SAT score over 1300 and over 750 NSDA (National Speech and Debate Association) points. Prasad met all of these requirements — she gained 896 NSDA points by debating alongside partner Bailey Kirkeby, a junior, in a category called “Public Forum,” in which students must be prepared to debate for or against a stance on a political topic.
“Speech events require you to be funny or dramatic, which is why I stick mostly to debate,” Prasad joked.
Prasad says that her years of debating have helped boost her confidence and public speaking abilities.
“Initially, when I started speech, I had really bad anxiety,” Prasad said. “I still have anxiety, but it was alleviated because I started talking in front of more people than I usually would.”
Now the captain of the speech and debate team, Prasad says that her favorite part of being in the class is the team itself, saying her teammates are like family.
“If one person is having a bad day, they’ll all [go] to that person and help them while they’re crying and provide emotional support,” Prasad said.
Speech and Debate teacher Karen Minick says Prasad was an obvious choice for captain and she was not surprised when she found out she had won the All American Award.
“She is very well spoken, she is very poised, she is not a jabberjaw in class […] and I think because of that, when she speaks, people do listen,” Minick said.