Bonus Content

Destination Imagination

Teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving, all in one bundle.

Butterfly wings decorated with colored beans, pasta, and other dried food items.

" Water..." A skirt made of water and a top made of water-bottle labels.

Participating in Destination Imagination has helped me learn how to work on teams, problem-solve creatively, work under pressure, and adapt to any situation.

Destination Imagination is very close to my heart, it is a competition available to students from kindergarten to high school graduation. A team of 7 students is given the challenge to present a solution performance after several months of creative, technical, and theatrical preparation. In the second part of the competition, Instant Challenge, you are given the day of the competition and do not know what it is beforehand. For example, you could be given several canned foods and newspapers and be told to build a bridge between tables that can hold the most cans in 4 minutes and present a skit about it.

I have participated in Destination Imagination since I was in kindergarten (so some of these photos are OLD), and was with the same team of students until I graduated high school. I often created special award-winning costumes that are scored as separate elements. Our team won awards locally, at the State level, and at Global Finals. When I graduated I appraised the competition, and was promoted to Head Appraiser, Challenge Master, and I am currently an International Challenge Writer (so I write the challenges that students will see years from now, and across the world!). I have participated in this program for 20 years of my life, so 77% of my life has been dedicated to participating in this program.

Currently, with Destination Imagination, I dedicate my weekends to being the Scientific Regional Challenge Master, and the Scientific Texas State Head Appraiser. Most Recently I have been a Global Finals Appraiser.

A frog made with sprite bottles, with balloon eyes that blow up when a hand held device is squeezed.

"Sure-Lock the Peacock, Antivirus Software" a 12 foot wingspan that raises and lowers like a real peacock, composed to appear mechanical.

A wedding cake made of paper, that shoots all the flowers off toward the audience when one string is pulled.

A seahorse made of felt and packing peanuts.

Sir Isaac "Fig" Newton. Fig Newtons and book pages collide.

Caterpillar costume composed of duct tape.

Global Scholars

Traveling, teaching, learning, and growing.

In Sweden, we went curling. Nobody told me we were going curling that day, so I wore shorts. My knees were only a little cold.
A group photo in the ever opulent Paris Opera House.

I traveled with two major programs during my time at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Sophomore Year Experience, and Regents Global Scholars. I applied to and was accepted into the Sophomore Year Experience first. We learned about education systems in other countries and then spent time in the classroom with students in Finland (one of the strongest education systems in the world). We traveled to Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and The Netherlands- I was able to travel for free thanks to the university scholarship program. We got to experience the art and culture first hand, as well as speak to professionals there such as Doctors, professors, and elementary teachers. We spent time at an elementary school where we taught in an English class and played games with the children, who wanted to know all about "the Texans". I was also able to travel up to the North Pole (or, the arctic circle) and meet the real Santa.

Because of my experiences traveling, I applied to be considered a Global Scholar. They select a few students each year for this program where they grant you $5000 to go on any study abroad trip you desire. I used this money to travel with the Regents group, which is a branch of the Honors College. We went to France, Austria, and England and studied classical composers, composition, and music.

I feel that my global experience is important to include because of the work that goes into the programs. We plan our trips, make reservations, stay on schedule and stay organized in order to actually be able to reach all of our dream destinations. Besides a few learning locations, these trips were not structured and we were free to create our own itineraries. We also managed the fundraising and budgeting for group activities all on our own, which is a valuable experience to have, especially when working in a group and trying to please all members.

Cricket City Improv

Quick thinking, problem-solving, and crowd-pleasing.

Not to mention the sheer humiliation. By participating in an improv troupe you learn ALOT. Despite the not-so-practical appearance of the group, it's very easy to pick up some skills that will take you far when applied to business.

You have to think on your feet and make instant choices, about what to say, how to act, and what to do. You also have to observe and listen to those around you so you can properly react and interact to fit the performance as well as know when it is your time to speak and your time to listen.

You need to be ready for anything, as we take suggestions from the audience, as well as be excellent at public speaking and communication in general in order to be engaging and easy to follow.

Our group had several different performances throughout the year for different audience types, for example, we often did one at the public library for children but we also performed a "Balls to the Wall" performance- where anything goes - later that year.

For Christmas, we would have the "Reindeer Games" performances where we would split into 2 groups and compete to be the funniest. At Thanksgiving, we did a dinner performance with planned "acts" and nothing more. Pre-made characters- and that's it.

Likely my biggest takeaway from participating in this group was how to go with the flow. Sometimes, you have planned in your head the next thing you are going to say or do to keep the performance going and then the person next to you takes it in the complete opposite direction. At that moment you just have to think, "okay, adapting and moving on" which, helped me significantly to not get hung up on sudden changes when it came to professional work.