July 30 through August 3, PLNU will host Make-A-Wish recipient Sarah Fallon at the Training Minds Speech & Debate Camp on the Point Loma campus. Michael Hyatt, bestselling author of “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,” will be the keynote speaker at the event on Wednesday, July 31.
Nationally recognized as one of the top Speech and Debate programs across the country, PLNU regularly competes successfully against university teams from across the nation, including the University of California, Berkeley, Rice University, the University of Colorado and others.
To build the program’s continued success, PLNU coach, Dr. Skip Rutledge, Professor of Forensics and Communications, sees value in exposing young high school debaters to university caliber forensics through hosted debates and events.
“Hosting a camp allows us to help train, equip and empower this community, and possibly to recruit some of them to join our campus community and speech and debate team, as they are looking for colleges or universities to attend,” says Rutledge.
Sarah, a 17-year-old from Missouri, has made her Make-A-Wish wish to attend the Training Minds Speech & Debate Camp at PLNU. A homeschool student who got her first taste of speech and debate last year, Sarah put the camp on the top of her wish list after learning the details from her coach. Her entire family will travel to San Diego for the upcoming camp.
Make-a-Wish Foundation raises funds to grant wishes to children suffering from fatal and high-risk sicknesses. Sarah is in the midst of a long battle with Acute Lymphatic Luekemia (ALL), a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells. Sarah is receiving chemotherapy every week and is on four medications. “The medical summaries state her health is ‘good,’ which means she’s fully functioning but may get tired at times,” says Training Minds Ministry President Chris Jeub.
“Of the five speech tracks available to students, Sarah chose Platform,” says Jeub. “This means she will be trained to write a platform speech (e.g. an oratory, expository, or persuasive speech). Platform speeches written by young people tend to be about other people or things in life as they often don’t yet have a powerful platform from which to build. But Sarah has a platform. She’s struggling with a brutal sickness. Training Minds will be out to turn that platform into action and win some tournaments.”