Parkdale’s Mock Trial has a successful year even with the downfalls they encountered along the way

From staying after school on Mondays and Wednesdays to strengthening their writing and debating skills, the Parkdale Mock Trial team had quite a successful season. The team went through a rough patch at the beginning of the school year as they struggled to get committed members on their team. Nonetheless, they flawlessly managed to get new members to join the team.

With less than three months to prepare their first scrimmage, the five returning members: Isha Sesay, Praise Ben, Asma Amsa, Isabel Rameriez, and Alexsis Tapia quickly trained the newest members to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to be a “witness” and a “lawyer.” They worked tirelessly to ensure everyone was to par for competitions.

“I have discovered from my time in mock trial both as a member and as president that the only way to gain the above skills is to step out of your comfort zone and do them anyway,” said senior and president of mock trial Praise Ben. “I was grateful for my time in mock trial and I wish future mock trial presidents the best.” 

This is Ben’s third year doing mock trial where she has grown as a person and has learned a lot of what it is like being a real-life lawyer. While Ben’s career is not to become a lawyer in the future, mock trial has helped her tremendously in terms of improving her speaking skills.

After losing their scrimmage against Eleanor Roosevelt High School, the team took the loss as a moment to learn from their mistakes. This did not stop the team from continuing to find ways to improve for their next competition. “Moreso, I was proud of the hard work students put in as they deservedly did,” said English 10 teacher and co-sponsor Ms. Masamba. “The team put in their all and worked together to guide new members to take up new roles, which they took on with grace.

Shortly after returning from winter break, the team gave it their all for each competition and they were not willing to back down. It was their third competition against Bowie High School and the entire team was feeling nervous about the third match but were hopeful for a win. Nonetheless, the team won by a total of six-point margin against the other team.

“Playing Laurel was a humbling experience,” said junior Isha Sesay. “It made me realize that decorum and intention are important in a court case, and it tremendously affects the judge’s perspective of you as a lawyer.”

Parkdale’s Mock Trial continued to persevere even with the setbacks they encountered along the way. On Feb. 8, the team was informed they made it to the Circuit Championship playoffs. A long-awaited notification from MyLaw, the organization that runs the state’s mock trial competition. With only two days to prepare for playoffs, the team rushed to polish their line of questioning and argument. 

The excitement of the team is one they looked forward to after a rough 2020-2o21 virtual school year. Despite not winning the Circuit Championship, the immense work the team put in is one that will go down in the books for their dedication, perseverance and commitment to representing Parkdale well!

“I was shocked to know we made it to the playoffs, but I was excited at the same time to know we made it this far.” junior Chimerie Okensha.

** If you wish to join Parkdale’s mock trial team next school year, feel free to contact Dr. Blake ([email protected])  or Ms. Masamba ([email protected]) for more information on how you get involved!**