The National Forensic League held its national tournament June 12 to 20 in Kansas City, Mo. The National Forensic League is an organization dedicated to giving the nation's youth a voice and putting their talents to work through service.
Students involved in the NFL are given the opportunity to build communication and presentation skills, while debaters and extemporaneous speakers are educated on the political system, current affairs and issues facing the nation.
Eight students from the Bellwood-Antis High School attended this tournament under Two-Diamond coach Richard Bower. The national qualifiers were Grant DeArmitt in humorous interpretation, Nicholas Adams and Errin McCaulley in public forum debate, Jesson Beck and Hannah Misera in duo interpretation, Kevin Anello in domestic extemporaneous speaking, Abby Boslough in dramatic interpretation and Lindsee Clark in the John C. Stennis Student Congress.
Representatives from Bellwood-Antis High?School who volunteered their time during the National Forensic League’s national tournament to help prepare food for shipment to needy countries are (front to back): left side — Nicholas Adams, Kevin Anello, Jesson Beck, Sonya DeArmitt, Grant DeArmitt and Abby Boslough; right side — Richard Bower (coach), James Bilka, Lindsee Clark and Hannah Misera.
They all worked diligently throughout the year to reach such a prestigious level. In fact, the competition is so arduous that only 3,200 students, or 0.000003 percent of NFL members, qualify to the national level. This year has been an incredible success for the team, which is ranked third in Pennsylvania and within the top 100 school districts in the nation. For the second consecutive year, the team returned from the state tournament with a champion in humorous interpretation (Grant DeArmitt), the second ranked public forum debate team in the state (Nicholas Adams and Errin McCaulley) and the sixth ranked original oratory speaker in the state (Mikaela Hornberger). The team was named the Laurel Highlands High School Speech League Regional Champion for 2010. Bellwood also saw, for the first time, a student named as an NFL Academic All American (Grant DeArmitt) and a student named as the Pennsylvania District Student of the Year (Nicholas Adams).
As part of its commitment to service, the NFL partnered with the Salvation Army and Numana Inc., an international hunger relief organization, to pull the efforts of teams from across the nation to prepare meals for shipment to countries where demand for food is high but where supply is nonexistent.
"It was thrilling to work side by side with, and to get to know, people from all across our vast nation all with one common goal: to save the starving. "The hundreds of student volunteers embodied the true mission of the NFL, to unite in building a stronger tomorrow together,'' said Nicholas Adams.
"It was truly inspirational and empowering as each threshold was crossed, 100,000, 200,000, 300,000 until the time had elapsed and the final number was announced.''
NFL students, coaches and supporters worked together June 13 to package 525,960 meals for earthquake survivors in Haiti. "All in all, this year has been a huge success for the Bellwood-Antis Speech and Debate Team and for the National Forensic League as a whole,'' Adams said.