“My sister is just one year older than me, so I always kind of felt like I was stuck in her shadow,” says Katie, a 2015 St. Mary’s Central High School graduate. “Then, my freshman year my English teacher convinced me to join the speech team. I loved it. I placed at regionals that year and went to state.”
As a senior, Katie brought home a state speech championship in the entertainment category and her school brought home the team championship for the fifth year in a row. But for Katie, speech was about more than just winning trophies.
“It helped me learn to communicate better, to speak in front of people I don’t know, and to feel comfortable doing that,” she says.
Katie credits her speech experience with helping her run a successful campaign for state student council president.
“I’ve been in student council every single year since fourth grade, the first year you can join,” says Katie. “I learned about leadership and service through student council.”
Katie wrapped up her student council career with a giant service project. She teamed up with the student council presidents from Bismarck High School and Century High School to “Pack the Pantry” last fall.
“That was so fun. We all went to elementary school together but ended up at different high schools. It was a blast to organize something so good with old friends,” says Katie. “We got donations from elementary schools and all the high schools in town and we were able to donate a trailer full of food to different organizations in town.”
For Katie, “Pack the Pantry” was the perfect way to combine her passion for service and leadership, and to prove that everyone can make a difference.
“I’ve been so lucky to develop leadership skills and make connections with lots of people. Now, it’s up to me to use those skills and connections to make a positive difference in the world.”