National Debater Helps Others Find Their Voice


KC Reduced

Kate Carroll isn’t your average 18-year-old girl.

How many teenagers do you know who read the newspaper every day or watch C-SPAN for hours on end?

Not many—if you’re asking us.

This self-proclaimed nerd is far from average.

While at Wayzata High School, Kate accomplished many things, including being Vice President of her class, editor of her school newspaper, running long-distance for her track team, and playing the viola in her school’s orchestra.

Did we mention Kate served on Girl Scout River Valleys’ board of directors last year? “It was such an enthralling opportunity to be surrounded by so many smart, successful women,” described Kate of the experience.

But perhaps one of her most rewarding undertakings was completing her Girl Scout Gold Award project, the highest and most prestigious award a Girl Scout can receive.

To complete her Gold Award project, Kate created a public speaking club that taught students in middle school proactive conflict management and how to effectively speak up. Through a program curriculum, complete with learning materials, Kate was able to show students that their voice matters.

“In middle school, I remembered having friends that didn’t have the courage to speak up. I knew they had something to say, but were just too shy. I wanted to help other kids in that situation find their voice,” said Kate.

This nationally ranked debater enlisted the help of her colleagues and teachers to implement a three-month program. During those three months, middle school students met weekly to practice their debate skills and learn how to see different points of views. Even though Kate graduated from high school this year, her program will still be continued through volunteers in her high school’s debate club.

Kate’s hard work didn’t go unnoticed, as numerous educators commended her public speaking club.

“One teacher actually approached me about a particular student in my program. This student, who once was shy and barely spoke, stood up for a friend that was being bullied. I almost cried. Knowing that this program made a difference, even just for one person, is an overwhelming feeling,” described Kate.

Today, Kate prepares for her first semester at Cornell College, where she plans to double major in English and Economics. Knowing Kate, we have a feeling her experience will be anything but average.