HATTIESBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Today is the day for students, teachers, and anyone with the gift of gab to celebrate competitive public speaking, national debate day.
The National Speech and Debate Association honors a "great debater" from Sacred Heart Catholic School right here in the Pine Belt. In your good news, she tells us being on the team has helped her grow in many aspects.
"It allowed me to open up to other people and not be afraid to express myself," said Madison Alliston, a Sacred Heart student.
The students on the debate team not only talk the talk, but six years in the making now, they have walked the walk winning awards all over the nation.
"You pick a topic, and you have to debate in so many minutes. You get to ask questions and cross examine," Alliston said.
Most recently, the National Speech and Debate Association highlighted Madison Alliston as a 2018 Exemplary Student Service Award Finalist.
"It's a really big honor, because speech and debate has always been a pat of my career," Alliston said. "My dad has worked with individuals with disabilities his whole life so he's tried to incorporate me in that experience my whole life. It's pretty good to be honored this way."
The art of carefully crafting together words to paint a picture of important topics is much more than a hobby for students who took home the win from the state competition for the past three years.
"Speech and debate has opened my eyes to how I can express myself and help other people express themselves," Alliston said.
Alliston said debate has brought she and her team members skills to take along with them later in life.
"Because of this, I want to be a lawyer when I grow up, so the confidence and the leadership roles and abilities speech and debate has given me is definitely going to help me in my career later on," Alliston said.
The students' passionate way with words pave their way to success.