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Reiners travels to state capital to discuss controversial topic

Submitted by on March 22, 2019 – 2:04 pm

Julia Reiners is a junior at Polson High School and she placed 1st at the State Speech and Debate competition that was held in Belgrade, Montana. Reiners participated in Original Oratory with a speech about school shootings and the change that she feels needs to happen within the federal government. “I was very surprised when I heard the announcer read my name for winning first place,” said Reiners “I had worked so hard all season and it was an amazing feeling to be able to sit there and think, ‘Wow, you did it.’” At a “Meet the Champs” lunch in the high school library, Reiners gave her speech to select teachers and students. At the lunch event, a woman named Jackie from SKC told Julia that her speech resonated with her and that she would like Julia to accompany her to Helena on the 18th of March to give the same speech at the state capital. “In Helena, we met with the Lieutenant Governor, Mike Cooney and just kinda learned what it would be like to be a politician, as my speech is very clearly political,” Julia tells about her experience at the state capital. Reiners believes that she succeeded this year because she feels very passionately about the topic that her speech is on. “There would be some times when I would give my speech and I would genuinely begin tearing up toward the end of it because I would feel the issues so deeply within myself and I think that that really pushed me to be more emotional,” Julia said.

Julia chose this topic from a wide range of options, but she chose the controversial conversation of school shootings and the need for gun reform because she cares so much about it. “During my sophomore year, there was a school walkout that I was involved with to raise awareness about school safety and about gun reforms,” told Reiners “being a part of that really opened my eyes to how relevant this topic is to people my age.” Julia says that this is a topic that she truly cares about and she hopes to see some kind of change in the federal government, “It would be really cool if something would change for the better soon because then we would know that as young people, we still have a voice in our country and that the government  actually cares about our well-being.”

On the 18 of March, Julia Reiners went to the state capital, Helena, to meet with politicians and to learn about if this is a career that she really wants to pursue. According to Reiners, she met with people and really got a feel for what it would be like to be involved with that profession. “While I am interested in the field, I want to do something as a career that will make a difference,” said Julia “I want to do something more, to help the youth in our country so that they feel heard, just like I want to be.”

Julia says that she wants to do something with her life and as a profession to show others that change is possible and that the world really can be as great as we all want it to be. Something that is important to her is the issues of gun reform and the many mass school shootings there have been in America. As said in Julia’s speech, “As a junior in high school, there are many milestones left in my youth that I look forward to reaching,” she quickly states that if something within the federal government doesn’t change soon, she may never be able to reach those milestones.

Julia Reiners placed first at the State Speech and Debate meet in Belgrade, Montana. Reiners traveled to Helena, Montana on March, 18 to meet with politicians. Photo by Michael Umphrey.