Panthers of ISKL #140 : Sissi (‘25) & Dania (‘26)

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POISKL Sissi & Dania

– The SEA Forensics Tournament Volunteers

From February 9 – 11, 2023, a total of 80 volunteers composed of 19 HS faculty volunteers, 15 parent/alums/non-HS faculty volunteers, 40 National Honor Society (NHS) student volunteers/door guards, and six student team volunteers helped out at the 43rd SEA Forensics & Debate Tournament hosted by ISKL.

Here we meet two student team volunteers, Sissi and Dania, and discover why they volunteered, their best memory during the tournament, and advice to future volunteers!

Here is their story:


Do tell us more about yourself.

POISKL Dania Portrait

Dania: My name is Dania Arysha, I’m currently in Grade 9, and this is my first year studying at ISKL!

POISKL Sissi Portrait

Sissi: I am a current Grade 10 student from Shenzhen, China, and have been studying at ISKL for around 11 and a half years.


Please tell us why you volunteered for the SEA Forensics Tournament.

Sissi having funDania: I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from a teacher I admired, inspiring me to volunteer for the first time. Assisting others has always brought me joy; this experience was no exception. Not only did I enjoy helping out, but I also gained knowledge that I would have needed to learn in the classroom.

Throughout the event, I was tasked with various responsibilities, such as timing, directing participants and judges to their designated areas, assisting with score entry, preparing scoring papers and envelopes, and examining the judges’ rankings on their scoring sheets.

What was unique about this experience was that no one was assigned a specific role; instead, everyone on the team was given opportunities to try something new. I am grateful for this unexpected opportunity and the chance to step out of my comfort zone. Volunteering at the event was a rewarding experience, and I am excited to continue seeking new opportunities!

Sissi: I have always been interested in volunteering and helping in any way I can. Because I had never volunteered for an event like SEA Forensics and Debate, I saw this as an opportunity to grow and experience something new.

There were many ways for everyone to participate in helping because the roles were very flexible as they were not assigned to a specific person. Among the student helper team, we collaborated and shared the responsibilities. I was very involved and enjoyed helping in almost every role, such as rearranging the rooms in preparation for the next event, timing an event, guiding the participants and judges to their assigned area, helping to enter scores, preparing scoring papers and envelopes for the judges, being the runner to deliver information on iPads and checking the ranking of the judges scoring sheets. Looking back, I have learned a lot and gained so many insights, such as how to manage time effectively and how to deal with the experience of helping the tournament run smoothly with the student helper team, which has further improved my collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills.

What was your most memorable moment during the SEA Forensics?

Dania as a judgeDania: There were many wonderful moments during the event. I befriended other team students and made new friends from different schools. I worked under amazing teachers, and most importantly, the performances I witnessed were jaw-dropping.

I am so glad that ISKL hosted this event, as students from other schools were able to showcase their talents and improve upon them as well. To be a part of this three-day event is truly an honor.

Sissi: There were plenty of memorable moments during the tournament. The days that I spent with the student helpers were unforgettable experiences. We got to know and support one another during our short three days together. Furthermore, the duet acting finals were inspiring and fun to watch the participants’ emotional, humorous, and powerful acting. Throughout the tournament, I got a chance to see the amazing talents of the representatives from ISKL, and I felt super proud that ISKL can host a variety of events that students can thrive and explore.

Do you have any advice for someone considering volunteering at the next SEA Forensics?

Dania & Sissi during ForensicsDania: The best advice is to be organized and collected. This will allow you to approach your tasks with a clear and focused mindset.

On the first day, there will be a lot to learn, which may be a little hectic, but you will receive a lot of help from others, so don’t fret! However, you may miss some lessons, so make sure to complete your tasks when you can to stay caught up in your classes. All in all, the experience was extraordinary, and I would highly recommend that you try it!

Sissi: For someone considering becoming a volunteer at the next SEA Forensics and Debate, it is extremely important to be organized and systematic. You may miss out on some classes depending on when the tournament will be held. Therefore, you must submit your homework on time to stay caught up when you resume school. Being organized during the tournament is also crucial. Especially on the first day, there would be a lot to learn and many things going on concurrently. Being organized will help you stay on track to complete your tasks efficiently and not be stressed out. But don’t worry; there will be plenty of support from the other student helpers, teachers, and even judges!


Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.

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