PINEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – “Ramon, do you have any questions for the students?”
Three seventh graders presenting to judges in the finals of a national competition. What could they possibly be nervous about?
“It was very overwhelming,” said Pineville Middle School Seventh Grader Payton Bradford. “Very stressful, some parts of it.”
Bradford, Logan Wyatt and Carlee Lane were chosen by their classmates from a group of volunteers to discuss Pineville Middle School’s national finalist submission in the Samsung “Solve for Tomorrow” contest.
“They were very supportive and they were like, ‘Carlee would be a great person,'” Lane said. “A couple of them did recommend me for being one of the presenters.”
If there’s one thing students have learned this year, it’s that you can’t count on anything to go exactly as planned. Sure enough, [Bradford] and [Wyatt] lost internet access in the middle of answering questions for the judges.
“It was nerve-wracking in the beginning,” Wyatt said.
“I could not see anyone,” Bradford added. “I was looking at myself and myself only.”
This is the sixth year that Amanda Mullins has entered a class in the “Solve for Tomorrow” contest and the second that she’s made the finals. Pineville Middle is one of two middle schools out of the 10 finalists.
“They have came through,” Mullins said. “They have practiced. They have spent hours and hours and hours perfecting their pitch.”
To say that she’s proud of what her students accomplished in a school year ravaged by COVID-19 would be an understatement.
“Yeah, they’ve made me cry a lot today,” Mullins said.
But there might not be anyone prouder than the national finalists themselves.
“It says to me that we can do anything,” Wyatt said.