Watching the eight Regional Champions interact and compete at State Finals last weekend was a remarkable experience. Not only were the young men and women articulate, composed, and self-assured; they also upheld high standards of ethics and professionalism. I was encouraged to know that our future will be in such capable hands!
Let’s listen to the words of two more individuals who describe the life-changing impact of mock trial participation:
Jeffrey Smith, mock trial advisor at The Fayetteville Academy, enumerates the impact of program participation on his 2013 team captain: “She has received multiple outstanding witness and outstanding attorney awards over the years. Her skill with the materials is among the best I have ever worked with in my eight years as a coach.
“More than just her raw skill, however, I have come to greatly appreciate [my student’s] growth as a leader. She began mock trial as a very studious, but quiet young lady. She preferred to stay out of the way and to tend to her own affairs. Over the years, however, she has truly become a leader. She has become a source of knowledge for all other team members. She helps them rewrite questions and statements, helps train witnesses to find the best answers, and pushes others to test their boundaries. From a quiet and reserved freshman, she has grown into a gifted young lady capable of commanding any courtroom she enters. She has found her voice through mock trial, and she has become a better person for it.”
“More than any other part of my academia, NCAJ mock trial has given me confidence, strengthened my cooperation with others, and built my leadership ability.
“Through mock trial, I have learned that confidence is the key to influencing people. When I allow my nervousness to control me, the jury is neither persuaded nor impressed, and they will not be inclined to rule in favor of my side. Maintaining an even keel during a round is difficult and has only come with practice. This confidence will serve me my entire life.
“Since mock trial is a team activity, it has empowered me to communicate and cooperate with others. There are no stars in this activity. Everyone advances, or everyone goes home. So together we brainstorm, together we sweat, and together we rehearse, again and again. . . . At the same time, I am a leader. As captain of my team, I understand that my bearing, morale and performance influence my teammates. So I try to serve them, encourage them, and lead by example. . . . I have seen my leadership abilities grow in mock trial, because it has allowed me to be a leader in various situations: through the emotional highs and lows, and through easy sailing and rough seas.” Team captain, 2013 State Champions, Central Carolina Homeschoolers
Thank you to the teachers, attorney advisors, parents, and other supporters who mentor these students. Your investment is reaping great rewards!