First year speech member excels in competitions


Krystal Wilson

Sophomore Jocelyn Dismuke stands with senior Grant Dooley at speech competition

Sarah Girtman, Staff Writer

Many members on the speech team are experienced, but they welcome freshmen each year. Less common are newcomers who are sophomores or even upperclassmen. 

Sophomore Jocelyn Dismuke is a first year speech competitor. Despite being in her first year, she has thrived immensely. She has accomplished many things and has even made friends in the process.

 Dismuke decided to join speech because her friend was on the team last year and recommended she join.

“I didn’t join my freshman year because I didn’t really know anything about it.” Dismuke said. “If it wasn’t for [sophomore] Kaydan [Angelly] I probably wouldn’t have joined.”

In the beginning, Dismuke was anxious to be joining as a sophomore.

“I was really nervous that I wasn’t going to have any friends,” she said.

Later on she found that everyone was accepting.

“Speech is a really welcoming and warm place,” Dismuke said.

Even though she’s found comfort in the people on her team, she still thinks the speeches can be essentially nerve-wracking.

“I get nervous almost every time,” Dismuke said.

Regardless, she finds satisfaction in competing.

“It’s also really fulfilling,” Dismuke said.

Jocelyn Dismuke has excelled in competitions. She shared a recent accomplishment with which she is particularly pleased .

“I feel like I did pretty good at the Harrisburg tournament. I won first and second place, which I was really happy about,” Dismuke said.

Dismuke finds that her teammates have lots to offer in terms of helping her grow as a member of the team.

“There’s a lot of support,” Dismuke said.

Even underclassmen have something to offer to other members.

“My first tournament, I had no idea what I was doing, but they were extremely helpful with everything,” Dismuke said.

Dismuke breaks in varsity pretty consistently. She says it feels good to know that she is doing so well so far into the season.

“It’s very rewarding and makes me want to get better and better.” Dismuke said.

Dismuke performs two speeches. One is a poetry piece about being black in America. The other is an Oratory speech about medical bias among minorities.

“I feel they are both very big eye openers for anyone who hears the pieces,” Dismuke said.

Dismuke does not feel anything in her schedule really conflicts with speech. She has a lot of things outside of school, but she says her coaches are sympathetic toward them.

“Our speech coaches have lots of time available during the week for our meetings and are very understanding if there is an issue,” Dismuke said.

Dismuke wishes more people would get involved with the speech team.

“I feel like more people need to know about it because it is really fun,” Dismuke said. “I would recommend joining speech to anyone that’s interested.”

Jocelyn Dismuke feels very close to the other members and coaches on the team.

“The team captains are the best,” Dismuke said. “It’s like a second family, almost.”

Dismuke has clear goals for speech competitions.

“I hope I fulfill the expectations I set for myself,” Dismuke said. “I want to improve as much as I can.”

Although she finds speech fun, Dismuke has goals outside of high school that do not involve competing in speech.

“While I do love speech, this is only my first year,” Dismuke said. “I also have had a dream of being a nurse practitioner for a long time now, so I don’t see myself changing my mind about that just yet.”