KIPP New Orleans Schools Regional Amazing Shake!

After being named KIPP New Orleans School's Amazing Shakes Regional Winner, Destiny Dright was ready to amplify her voice and make a strong impression at the Global Amazing Shake National competition.

Dright, an eighth-grader at KIPP East, bested competitors from KIPP Believe, KIPP Central City Academy, KIPP Morial, and KIPP Leadership in the middle school competition to walk away with first-place regional honors.

Joining her on the all-expense-paid trip to Atlanta, Georgia, to compete at Nationals were Sean Cargo, Daisy Richardson, and Maliyah Porche from KIPP Leadership. The Global Amazing Shake competition emphasizes teaching manners, discipline, respect, and professional conduct, and is designed to prepare middle school students for success today and in the future.

The students showcased amazing leadership potential as they confidently stepped onto the national stage. Richardson placed in the top 24 out of more than 270 competitors across the nation, while Cargo and Porche joined her, and were recognized as top crew members for their passion, spirit, and leadership.

“The Ron Clark Academy’s Global Amazing Shake competition seeks to empower students to become responsible and successful leaders,” KIPP Leadership’s AP and Amazing Shake Coach Brittney Martinez said. “The competition involved various challenges such as public speaking, networking, interviewing, and etiquette. Each challenge had a unique approach and tested different skills, but every one of them was geared towards developing our communication and leadership abilities.”

Sean shared that the first day of the competition was especially memorable. “We were divided into small groups where we had to engage with one another and showcase our networking skills,” he said. “This was meant to help us build relationships with our peers and develop effective communication skills. We had to introduce ourselves, share our interests, and work together to complete various tasks.”

The competition also involved more challenging tasks such as interviewing and public speaking. “We had to demonstrate our ability to present ourselves well in front of an audience and effectively communicate our ideas,” Dright added. “The interview session involved a panel of judges who asked us random questions to test our critical thinking and communication skills.”

Porche agreed. “The public speaking session gave us an opportunity to express ourselves on a topic of our choice, and we were judged based on how well we presented to them,” she said. “The skills that I acquired during the competition will help me navigate various challenges and succeed in my future activities.”

Richardson said the highlight of the weekend was being interviewed by “Stranger Things” actress Priah Ferguson after advancing to the Top 24 Round.  “I couldn’t believe I was sitting on stage and holding a conversation with Priah!” Richardson exclaimed. “The Amazing Shake was not just a competition, it was a life-changing experience. I not only had an opportunity to showcase my skills, but I also learned a lot about effective communication, leadership, and etiquette.”

“It was an unforgettable experience that helped me grow as a person,” Cargo added. “I encourage every student to participate in such competitions and acquire skills that will help them succeed in their future careers.”

The New Orleans team received high praise from the judges and Ron Clark Academy staff members, who commented on the students' poise, energy, etiquette, enthusiasm, and drive.

The team was also supported by Teach For America Metro Atlanta, Tre Floyd Productions Theater, and Ron Clark Academy, who helped the students prepare for nationals.