HSCC Alumni, Jasmine Oliver
When I first received a letter from BDPA saying that I had been accepted into the HSCC program, I didn’t think anything of it nor did I plan to go. But, something just told me to go and see about it. When I went, I wasn’t very interested and I thought it was going to be boring and no fun, especially since it took away my whole Saturday. After about two weeks or so I started getting into it and it became interested, especially since I was considering a career in the field.
It frustrated me that others took this opportunity as a joke, while I was putting my time and effort into it. As the months passed, we became committed, we formed a bond with each other and we worked as a team. Everyone helped each other and soon we began to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. When it was announced who was on the 2003 HSCC team, that is when it really occurred to me that I was really going to have a chance to show some of my skills to the world and I realized that my hard work paid off. I was excited and thrilled to go, since I had never had an opportunity to experience something like this.
The pressure was on because it was the 25th National Conference and it was scheduled to take place at the competition’s birthplace of Philadelphia. Upon arriving in Philadelphia, I was excited and thought that it wasn’t going to be as bad as I expected. That same night when we met all the teams, I still thought it wasn’t going to be that hard. But then the first day of the competition got underway, and it consisted of the oral and written portions, I was so very nervous. However, once we made it through the first part, I felt better because we did well.
At one point, we were required to remain in the waiting room for everyone to finish the written competition. I was excited and nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, but at the same time I wanted to get it over with. While we were in the waiting room, we had a chance to meet the other teams and become acquainted. The hardest day of all was the second day during which we were tasked to create our program. The day appeared to go slowly, but we made the most of it, even at the times we thought about giving up. The overall conference was amazing because it is surprising to see how many people are really excited and happy to see young teenagers performing the skills that they have.
Overall, I had a joyous experience, I would tell anyone who receives a letter of acceptance from BDPA to go because it will be an experience that one will never forget. If I have the opportunity to go again, it will be an honor and I will be proud.