HELENA — In less than 80 days both Helena and Capital High School Speech and Debate teams will begin their journey to Louisville Kentucky, but they need financial help to raise $10,000.
"All total, there will be six students going between Capital and Helena high to Louisville, Kentucky. It is the largest academic competition for high school students in the Western Hemisphere," said John McClintock, the Capital High School Speech and Debate Head Coach.
McClintock says although the ability to compete on the national stage is exciting, the team has some fundraising to do.
"So that will cover airfare, the hotel rooms, the food, it covers everything those students need to be there and handle all that stuff," said Mcclintic.
Last year Nationals was held over Zoom. Helena High Junior Loreley Drees is ecstatic to compete in person and on stage.
"I didn't get to go anyway. I competed in the comfort of my own house, but this will be my first year going physically to Nationals; it's pretty nerve-racking, but I am pretty excited," said Drees.
Capital High Senior Brennan Jensen is ready to get back onto a real-life stage.
"It means a lot to be able to go to Kentucky and compete in Nationals, it means a lot more than going on a zoom call, it didn't feel like Nationals, it was a cool experience, and it was still cool to qualify, but it was not that the same as going in person, getting on a plane and getting the whole trip experience, and I am really excited to get that experience," said Jensen.
For Freshman Laylia Riggs, being a first-time competitor is a significant achievement.
"I am most excited to get the experience as a freshman because most people don't get that, so it is nice to have the bar set for myself," said Riggs.
For Helena High Speech and Debate Head Coach, Jennifer Hermanson, being able to see the students grow throughout the year is the reason she coaches,
“I just love watching the students grow, from shy little freshman to amazing confident adults is a great experience and that’s why I do what I do,”
So far, the Speech and Debate teams have raised 3 thousand of dollars, and if you would like to donate, you can visit their GoFundMe.