“When they ask you what do you want to be when you grow up, don’t tell them what but instead who you will become. You aren’t transforming into a different person, you’re transforming into the greatest version of yourself…”
An excerpt from Hazel Raymond’s 2022 Carolyn Warner Public Speaking Competition speech.
Hazel Raymond is no stranger to sharing her voice and leading with passion. Since joining JAG in her sophomore year and her first time speaking in front of a large audience with the encouragement of her JAG coordinator, Ryan Klem, she has been steadily progressing to this moment of winning 1st Place Division 1 for the Carolyn Warner Legacy Public Speaking Competition.
Ever since that speech in her sophomore year, Raymond has taken on opportunities to expand upon her growth in public speaking, community involvement, and leadership. Her junior and part of senior year marked a time of future career exploration through attending CTE courses at West-MEC and acquiring skills and knowledge in biomedical science and engineering.
In her senior year, she served as Vice President for West Point’s JAG Career Association, held the first annual Black History Month event on her campus, represented JAG at Governor Doug Ducey’s announcement of AZ OnTrack, spoke at Arizona Students’ Association Annual Lobby Day, and won three awards at CDC, just to name a few of her accomplishments.
“I’m thankful for JAG because it gave me the tools to have the confidence to do what I want to do big and small,” Raymond said. “On that day that I had hosted that Black History Month event, I thanked JAG because I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. I wouldn’t be as strong of a public speaker, creative in my ideas, and have the initiative that I have without JAG. The professional skills that I have today were built through this program.”
Raymond went into the Career Development Conference (CDC) with the mindset that she wasn’t there to win, rather she was there “to meet people that enjoy doing what I also enjoy.” She has come to love public speaking over the years, so the experience of CDC was invaluable to creating connections with others that are just as passionate as her.
When she won the award during the luncheon ceremony, she was surprised. Reflecting back on accepting that award, for her, it wasn’t about her winning the award alone. As she stood up at that podium to give her winning speech in front of hundreds of guests, she couldn’t help but think “We all won – we all did this.”
Hazel Raymond also won two other awards at the conference: the Advocacy in Action Award and 1st Place in the Project-Based Learning Competition for the first annual Black History Month event she hosted at West Point HS.
Raymond will be graduating from West Point this month and pursuing Transformational Entrepreneurship in Missions at a university in Minnesota, her dream school ever since sophomore year.
When asked about the motivation behind her leadership and growth in public speaking over the years, she responded, “I have always been a quiet kid and didn’t like to speak in front of people – I was literally scared! But my coordinator believed in me…If you can either believe in yourself or have someone that has that belief in you – then definitely do it…. Everything that I did, I was like ‘why not?’… to me, these things were what I had always wanted to do.”
We wish her all the best in her endeavors!
See our coverage on Division 2 Public Speaking Winner De Angelo Miguel and more CDC competition winners HERE