Humans of Seven Lakes: Natalie Pang

As the president of the Speech and Debate Team, what does your job entail? 

So I do tournament registration, which is where I get all the tournaments signed up. And then I also help coordinate a lot of fundraisers for our team. The most recent fundraiser we’re working on right now is merchandise. So we’re designing and launching our own line of Seven Lakes debate merchandise. Also, I coordinate DI meetings, which are diversity, equity, and inclusivity meetings to help ensure that we have a much more coherent and fun atmosphere where everyone, no matter what their minority status is, feel they can belong here. I think overall, my job as president isn’t really all about teaching debate, but more so of making our debate team a fun place to be. 


Has doing Speech and Debate in high school influenced your life choices?

Because of Debate, I decided that I definitely want to go into law and hopefully become a policy maker myself one day. So in debate, I specifically do congressional debate, where I role play as a member of Congress. And because of that, I’ve been exposed to a lot of the political problems both in the US and around the entire world, and so that inspired me to become someone who can actually start implementing solutions on a wider scale. 


Why did you choose Congress in the first place?

So I actually joined Debate all the way when I was ten years old. My mom just signed me up for a public speaking class, and then I really got into it competitively, and I’ve been doing it for a long time. I really liked all the friends I made. And then when I came here to Seven Lakes, I really liked the Congress team. I thought it was really fun. And also the event itself, I think it’s a lot more flexible, you can wing it on the spot compared to a lot of other events, which I really like because it gives me a lot more freedom and flexibility.


What’s a mistake that you’ve made in the past that you can learn from or you just feel like people can learn from?

I think one of my biggest mistakes was just continuing to go to debate tournament after debate tournament, hoping I’ll get results without actually trying to improve my skills. So I think that a lot of the time, people just need to take a step back and take the pressure off of themselves and realize that it’s not always about the results. You should just do an activity for the purpose of getting better at the activity rather than trying to get a trophy or something.


What qualities do you believe you have that make you the right person for this position?

I think I have a lot of dedication to this team because it takes a ton of time to be constantly doing all of the tasks and responsibilities I have. And on top of that, I like to think I’m pretty innovative. We’ve run into a lot of problems this year, and I like to think that I’ve come up with pretty good solutions for them.


What aspects do you believe you can improve in terms of your leadership?

I think I still need to work on collaboration. I’ve been trying to talk with people on my team for solutions, but it’s still kind of difficult to compromise. It’s kind of difficult to always be working with so many people. So I think that as a leader, I definitely need to work on actually working together with people.