Thursday completed the competition part of the Jr. Beta convention. Friday morning they wrapped up their meeting and everyone headed home by noon. I’m very proud of Presley’s performance, both in the speech and talent competitions. She’s had lots of voice recitals in auditoriums as large as 730 seats (of course not all of them were filled). But she had never stood on a stage in the middle of an arena the size of The Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs. If you are familiar with the movie “Hoosiers”, then you remember the scene where the Hickory Huskers walk into Hinkle Fieldhouse for the state finals and were totally overwhelmed by its size. Unfortunately Presley did not overcome her fear of the vastness of the venue. Her performances were a bit shaky and her voice was sharp at times and the other contestants in her division handled the situation a little better. However she (and her family, fellow students, and teachers) were so proud that she made it as far as she did. And next year that arena won’t seem nearly as huge. Apparently she even made a good impression on the other convention attendees because Jr. Beta members from other schools routinely stopped her in the halls of the convention center after her performance to tell her how well she performed. Maybe her song choice just wasn’t what the judges were looking for.
Immediately upon finishing her vocal performance she had to change clothes and run to the other end of the convention center for the speech competition. Her schedule, to say the least, was stressful. She pulled herself together and gave a terrific speech, coming in second and qualifying for the National Convention. The convention theme this year was, “Beta Above and Beyond” and that was also the subject of Presley’s speech. I thought I’d share her speech with you today:
“This is my first year in Junior Beta Club and I am excited by the opportunities that Beta provides.
Dr. John Harris, who founded Beta Club in 1934, chose the name Beta because it stands for the Greek word “bios”, which means life. He felt it was important for members to learn to make a life for themselves through service and leadership. By making a better life for ourselves we can make a better life for one another thereby taking Beta Above and Beyond.
I am proud to be a dedicated member of Jr. Beta. It is a wonderful organization but it is only as good as its individual members. To take Beta Above and Beyond, I pledge to lead by example and inspire my Jr. Beta Club:
- To serve our community more
- To aim higher in our studies
- To make good choices
- And to be nicer to our fellow students
This will encourage another Jr. Beta Club member to be kind to our peers. Which will hopefully motivate a classmate to make a larger effort to qualify to join Jr. Beta. Thereby growing our school’s Jr. Beta and Beta Clubs. This will allow us to carry out more community service projects and give us a larger voice at the state level.
Our local Beta Club’s success will inspire other groups in our state to work harder. As our state presence grows we will begin to have more impact at a national level. It is an ordinary Trickle Down Effect but it takes an extraordinary effort to make it happen.
One person can make a difference and I vow to be that person
- To serve my community
- To lead by example
- To achieve greater goals
- To show strength of character
TO TAKE BETA ABOVE AND BEYOND”