EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – While most of her peers are busy communicating through cell phones and computers, Eastchester resident Catherine Petitti still knows the value of talking face-to-face.
At the National Catholic Forensic League Grand Tournament - which will be held in Philadelphia during Memorial Day weekend – Petitti, a senior at the Loyola School, will speak to a crowd full of faces as she competes in the “Oral Interpretation of Poetry or Prose” division.
“I think public speaking is crucial in today’s world. Many people are losing the skills to talk to a large group of people or feel comfortable talking to a new face because we do so over the computer every day,” she said. “It’s important to keep communication and confidence and forensics helps me to do that.”
Petitti has had an itch for forensics since she was a child. Her older sister – who also went to Loyola – was a member of the speech team herself. When Catherine would attend the speech dinner at the end of the year, she felt an immediate connection to the field.
Despite having a natural affinity for forensics, Petitti said that she would likely end her study in the field as she moves forward to study nursing at Fairfield University. Ultimately, she believes that the work she has put in during high school will benefit her professionally.
“I had such a great time on my team the last four years and I want to take the courage and confidence that forensics has given me everywhere I go,” she said. “I feel it will help me talk to patients I’ve just met with more ease. I have the ability to feel comfortable and make conversation with strangers because of forensics.”