Where are you now?
I’m currently a freshman at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
How, if at all, did the Empire help you get there?
My experience with mock trial in high school played a large part in shaping my plans for the future, and participating in the Empire tournament was integral to that. Mock trial showed me that I could combine my love for performing with my curiosity about law. Participating in the Empire only solidified those interests, and I’m now considering a career in government or law once I graduate from Wesleyan.
What’s your favorite Empire moment?
My team was one of those left stranded for an extra week at Empire 2012 during Hurricane Sandy. On our last night before finally flying out, we gathered in one of our rooms to watch a movie together. Less than half an hour in, everyone had fallen asleep in a big pile on one of the beds. It might seem like an inconsequential occurrence, but that moment helped me realize how much closer we had grown as a team. Regardless of how tired we were of each other after our extended stay, Empire had managed to bring us closer together.
Why have you stayed involved with the Empire family?
Traveling to New York for the Empire was always something I looked forward to in high school. Aside from the obvious excitement of competing, there was always something new to experience. It felt like every Empire tournament was a series of once in a lifetime moments, from celebrating my seventeenth birthday at midnight by getting my fortune told in Times Square, to looking out across the water to see the outline of a darkened Manhattan skyline during Hurricane Sandy. Some of my best memories from high school came from the Empire. As a volunteer, I want to make sure other mockers can have the same amazing and memorable experience I had.
How would you describe the Empire to someone that has never been?
The Empire is a place for people who share a love of mock trial to form lasting friendships and improve on skills that will serve them for their entire lives. From the moment you arrive in New York, you’re swept up in the excitement and camaraderie of the competition. From the opening ceremonies to the nighttime cruise, you are given endless opportunities to meet teams from around the world and become closer with your own. It’s an experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life, and one that is completely unique to the Empire Invitational Tournament.