How SOT/ACE Student Conventions Have Impacted Me
by Danielle Loren Buday

Hello there! My name is Danielle Loren Buday. I am a graduate from M.Zed Christian School of Cebu City. I am also a former student of Good Shepherd Christian Academy of Butuan City. I graduated from college as an English major March 2018 and I am currently taking up my Masters in (School) Administration and Supervision.
As an S.O.T./A.C.E. alumna, I am privileged to share how student conventions have helped me during college days and life in general. Competing in conventions not only helped me discover and hone my skills and abilities, but also built my character. They not only left wonderful experiences and great memories in 

my heart, but lessons that are to be applied in life as well. Conventions have shaped me in the following ways:
First, I learned to be confident. I mostly competed in the Platform categories, but I also was involved in other categories such as Music, Arts, Exhibits, and Academics. Before I was trained for performance events, I had such a blank facial expression during practices. At first, I was not confident enough to compete especially in solo events, but with the help of my trainers, that confidence was developed within me. At times, events were assigned to me and I had no idea what those events were at first but I wanted to explore something new. I really thank the Lord for the wonderful trainers I had because without them, I would not have gained self-confidence, and I would still be the shy and not-that-expressive girl I once was.
Second, experiencing conventions made me strive for excellence with confidence in everything I did. When I was in college, I had a lot of writing and performing activities in class and they reminded me of what I had learned from the convention events I competed in and I really used what I had learned. Basically, what I did in college and even now in graduate school was really a continuation of what I had learned and experienced from every NSC and ISC that I attended.
Third, I learned how to be more independent which I applied whenever I had brain-draining assignments and projects, most especially my thesis. Aside from striving for excellence with confidence, a sense of independence was growing inside me through preparing for and competing in conventions. This part of my character has been developing through the years.
Fourth, in many situations in life, I learned how to survive by depending on God. I have learned that in life, in order to endure the race that I am running, I have to always focus on God, the source of my strength, and the Author and Finisher of my faith. During rally nights, the Word of God has always been emphasized and because of that, I realized that on every single day, I always needed to prioritize my relationship with the Lord Jesus. The altar calls also played an important part in my life because I believe that each child of God has an important calling on his or her life and it is through these altar calls, where I completely surrendered to the Lord in different aspects in my life.
Fifth, competing in conventions has helped me train my siblings and assist them in their convention events. I have two siblings- Gabrielle, my 16-year-old sister, and Joseph, my 10-year-old brother. It is a privilege and a joy to assist them in their events. As the eldest child, I believe that my position in the family is to help my siblings grow and one way to do that is by training them. Through this, my siblings and I have had a closer bond with each other.
With all that I have shared in this testimony, I hope that more students will be inspired to compete in conventions. In addition, I aspire for more school administrators and parents to understand the importance of these conventions because once the students graduate, there will be no such opportunity when they reach college. In life, there is no rewind button. That is why as the saying in every SOT/ACE convention goes, “Where else can one week last a lifetime?” Every student convention lasts only a week, but the experiences are lessons that continue for a lifetime.

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