ARLINGTON — Trinity Klomparens, 15, will be a sophomore this fall. She recently attended the National Invitational Tournament of Champions, a Christian home school competition for debate and public speaking. She competed in both categories, and she placed second in speaking.
Her speech was about Down syndrome, which affects her brother, Ransom, 14. She told her audience that people with Down syndrome are “one of the greatest blessings that we have been given by God.”
Question: How did you get interested in debate?
Answer: My mom said “You’re going to do debate now.” I was super scared and I thought that sounds terrifying … once I started doing it, I gained a lot more confidence when I was able to speak in front of people. I ended up loving it. The fact that I got to speak on something that was so important to me was a really cool thing.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: I love drawing and I love singing and I love hanging out with my friends. I love to play guitar. I’m not super good at it, but I love playing it anyway.
Q: What do you draw?
A: I draw so many different things. I wouldn’t really put it into one kind of style. I draw whatever I feel like drawing, but I do like painting birds.
Q: Have you thought about careers?
A: I love the idea of being in politics and doing that kind of thing … It sounds super cool and also working at Pixar sounds really cool.
Q: What about after high school?
A: I kind of want to go to Hillsdale College. That is where my older sister is going and that’s where both of my parents went.
Q: Does your faith drive you to be an advocate for your brother and others like him?
A: Absolutely. We have someone who literally created us with so much love and has given us so much worth and meaning, and it is so worth talking about. … People (who live with Down syndrome) have so much love inside of them. It’s obvious to be able to see there is a creator … These beings are so beautiful in the way they were created.
Q: What have you learned about life from Ransom?
A: I have learned so many things. Definitely one of them would be that he’s able to notice things. He notices when people are sad or people are happy. He’s able to act off that and sympathize with other people and help other people. That was really inspiring to me and inspired me to do that as well, to try to emphasize with other people and help them when they are hurting.
Q: What do you wish strangers knew about people with Down syndrome?
A: They understand you better than you think they might do. They really aren’t mistakes. That’s something we can often think about anyone with a disability. I think every single person who has Down syndrome or has a disability, there’s a purpose for that, and it’s not a mistake. They have it for a reason, because it is a beautiful thing.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @rikkiking.