Where are you now?
Still doing mock trial! Currently our team is preparing for our county competition, which is happening pretty soon, so it seems like we are practicing constantly! I’m graduating high school this year so right now I’m also trying to decide where I’m going to end up next year and attempting to fill out as many scholarship applications as possible.
How, if at all, did the Empire help you get there?
Empire Mock Trial completely transformed the outlook of our team. From the hours of preparation, to spending two weeks as a team in New York thanks to Hurricane Sandy, Empire has truly given our team an opportunity to grow closer. I firmly believe that my team’s greatest asset is our unity, and I credit a great deal of our success to Empire. On a more personal note, Empire was my first big competition, and the fact that my team won my first year there certainly did wonders for my own confidence.
What’s your favorite Empire moment?
My first year at Empire, our team challenged Henry W. Grady High School [to be our first round opponent] – the team who had won the year before. Our whole team was extremely nervous and I was basically shaking the entire opening ceremony, but when our captain stood up to challenge she attempted to act as intimidating as possible – dramatically yelling and pointing while challenging the defending champions. Sometime after the shock of that moment, my nerves turned into excitement and we won our first round of Empire competition.
I’d also like to mention that choosing just one favorite moment was incredibly difficult. A good number of my favorite memories from my time in high school come from the Empire competition – whether competing in the final round while Hurricane Sandy raged around us or touring Central Park with my team. My three years at Empire have been unforgettable and I’ve truly enjoyed each year’s unique challenges and activities.
How would you describe the Empire to someone that has never been?
Empire not only showcases the best mock trial teams from across the world, but is also without a doubt the most well run tournament that I’ve attended. From the moment you arrive, the atmosphere is exciting and welcoming. Empire allows you to meet passionate mock trial students from across the world and offers an opportunity to visit one of the greatest, if not the greatest, cities on Earth. The level of competition is intense, but the tournament has always been professional and remarkably fair (especially since we all know mock trial is an incredibly subjective competition). Empire mock trial is more than just another competition or an [opportunity] for your team to gain experience and improve (though attending Empire does accomplish all of these goals). [It] also is always a memorable event and has been, for me personally, one of the highlights of my time in high school. I cannot recommend Empire enough and my only regret is that I waited until my sophomore year to attend it!