Freshmen Debaters Grab Top Place

Perkiomen Valley freshmen Denise Hurd and Arshisa Chhabria have been powerhouses in the recent Speech and Debate Club competitions.

 “Speech and Debate Club is a group that works on public speaking and writing. The students practice different events that they compete in at tournaments,” Hurd said. 

In Charbria’s seven competitions this year, she has two first-place finishes as well as one second and one third-place finish.

 “I am extremely fulfilled with how this season has gone, and hope to keep improving for next year!” Chhabria said. To reach this success, Chhabria had to put a lot of time and effort in. “The first 3 years I was in speech and debate, I had quite a hard time measuring up to everybody else….” Chhabria said. Besides lots and lots of time, Chhabria offered another tip. “What helps me is to understand the topic fully before coming into a competition. That way you are a lot more prepared for anything that comes towards you.” 

Hurd has also experienced a lot of success, placing top five in all of her competitions this year. “[A] key part of being successful is confidence. The judges love to see a speaker who is loud and sure of themselves.” She has been in the club for four years and has had some amazing mentors that have helped her improve tremendously.

Outside of Speech and Debate Club, Chhabria and Hurd have busy lives. Chhabria participates in the FRC Robotics Club, Key Club, PV Mini-Thon, Investment Club, Medical Sciences Club, and the Swim Team. She also plays the viola and is learning to play the guitar. Somehow, she also finds time to rollerblade, skateboard, ride bikes with her little brother, and paint. Hurd plays softball and runs cross country, both of which she performs very well in. “I love sports, which makes me really competitive in everything I do, including debate,” Hurd said. These two have a lot ahead of them, and this won’t be the last time you hear their names.