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We the People was one of the most definitive programs for me personally and professionally. It sparked by desire to learn and know more about our society while equipping me to have amazing civil conversations about the most pressing issues of the day. Thank you, MCCE for encouraging my teacher to take on We the People!
Mock Trial was a fundamental part of my high school experience. Overall, the Mock Trial program did more for me than any other activity during those four years, and I continue to see the impact of that program today. On a personal level, Mock Trial gave me friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. From an experience perspective, the program strengthened my teamworking and people skills, my analytical reasoning, my rhetorical abilities, and my comfort level with public speaking. Participating in Mock Trial during those formative years also taught me discipline and time management. Mock Trial helped to prepare me for college as much as any class, and I have been using and honing those skills ever since.
I always loved to argue and debate, but Mock Trial gave me the structure to do it professionally. After high school I went on to participate in the American Mock Trial Association in college, and I know for a fact that any success I had in that program was due in large part to my high school experience. Inspired by Mock Trial, I went to law school, and I lost count of the number of times my law school experience was made easier by knowledge or skills I gained in the Mock Trial program. Again inspired by the thrill I experienced in Mock Trial, after law school I worked as a litigator for nearly 5 years at a big law firm in Chicago. I recently transitioned to an in-house legal position, but the skills I gained from Mock Trial continue to impact my career and my life. I come from a middle-class family in Kalamazoo, from parents who never attended college, and today I live a life that I never could have imagined. There were many stepping stones along the way, but Mock Trial was the strong foundation that propelled me forward on this path.
When I started Mock I was an introverted, extremely shy, anxious high school freshman. It is not an exaggeration to say that, at that time, the thought of speaking in front of strangers made me physically ill. I cared about academics, but I had no long-term career plans or idea of where I might fit in the world. Today I have a job I love, doing work I believe in. Every day I get to perform complicated legal analysis and advise and persuade colleagues and strangers alike. And far from making me sick, I enjoy it tremendously. Mock Trial started it all, and it continues to benefit me each and every day. -Alexandria Bond
I cannot fathom who I would be if I did not sign up for mock trial when I was in high school. The uncountable skills I learned–from logical thinking to persuasive speaking–have served me well through all aspects of my life, including in my current career in medicine. I’ll never forget the feeling of butterflies in my stomach when I would stand up to compete. One of our judges told us those butterflies are really you confronting your greatness, and it should be a feeling that you pursue for the rest of your life. While I certainly feel butterflies while working in the hospital, nothing compares to the rush I felt when doing mock trial; and getting used to that feeling has helped me overcome the many hurdles I’ve faced during my education and training. To top it off, I ended up getting married to another mock trial lover (she competed at a rival school, but we forgave each other for that), and one of the topics we bonded over on our first date was the thrill of competing in mock trial. From personal aspects to professional aspects, mock trial has left an indelible mark on my life, and I will always feel grateful and indebted to the activity, the mentors, and the friends I’ve made along the way. Dr. Brian Yagi
As a teacher, MCCE has provided such important training for me. They have aided in the most fundamental, profound ways. I now see myself as a civic coach empowering my students through meaningful programs that reveal their innate desire to be part of civic communities. Thank you, MCCE!