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Recently, four West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC) Phi Theta Kappa students and one faculty member attended the International PTK Catalyst Conference in Orlando. During the conference WVNCC student, Samantha Pearl, won first place in the Extemporaneous Speech competition. It is the first time a WVNCC student has won such an honor at the conference.
For her winning speech, Pearl gave an impromptu speech on the topic, “Should math & science be the main focus in schools?” while only having 30 minutes to prepare. She competed against eight other finalists to win first place. “I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity from Phi Theta Kappa and West Virginia Northern Community College,” commented Pearl. “When I joined PTK, I didn't anticipate that a girl from Wheeling would win the International Extemporaneous Speech Competition, but I believed in myself and spoke with confidence and conviction during the finals.”
Pearl, a graduate of Wheeling Park High School, will graduate from WVNCC on May 10 with her Associate Degree in Arts, with a concentration in Psychology. She will transfer to West Liberty University to complete her Bachelor’s Degree. She currently works as a legal assistant for a civil rights law firm in Wheeling and hopes to attend law school in the future and work as a legal advocate for those with mental illness or addiction.
In addition to Pearl, WVNCC PTK advisor and math instructor, Dr. Hollie Buchanan also attended the conference along with WVNCC students Tye Forester, Manasha Bradley and Britni Recinella. Buchanan said, “We are extremely proud of Samantha and our entire PTK Chapter. Her hard work paid off, and it was a well-deserved award. Samantha, as well as the other students who attended, represented PTK and WVNCC extremely well.”