By Mollie Schmidt
Part of the Girls State experience, although not always positive, is failure.
Addressing that potential failure, University of South Dakota S.J.D. Criminal Justice Professor Michael Roche asked delegates or not they had run for offices this week and lost some elections.
About one third of delegates raised their hands during the Thursday morning general assembly in Aalfs Auditorium Slagle Hall.
“No doubt you’re an elite group,” Roche said during his speech.
Some delegates were pleased with the way Roche gave his speech — speaking about Mother Teresa inspiring delegates emotionally for the remainder of the Girls State session.
Lindsey Wenger from Chicago said she enjoyed Roche’s speech because he cared about what was happening in the moment and not what happened 10 years ago.
“He taught me that some people are very inspirational and they can make you emotional,” she said. “He also taught me to never give up and to give it my all.”
Roche told delegates they could achieve anything as long as they found what they were good at.
Sage Pulse from Cleveland said the speech resonated with her faith.
“The speech was very inspirational because I’m really big in my faith, and I really enjoyed how he talked about Mother Teresa,” she said.
Roche also told the story of he and his wife attending a presentation at the University of Massachusetts football stadium to hear Mother Teresa speak. Death threats were made toward her, but she still came, he said. According to Roche, she had bodyguards all around her, and yet she still spoke.
Mother Teresa speaking at the stadium affected Roche emotionally.
“I spontaneously had tears running down my cheeks,” Roche said.
Roche explained the different ways Mother Teresa acquired power.
“First, she found her gifts,” Roche said
He then said it is not easy for people to find their gifts and that it took Mother Teresa a long time and quite a bit of work to find hers.
Roche said he wanted delegates to feel they could do anything, and once they find their gifts, they should use them to their abilities.
Roche also shared with delegates, whom he hoped to inspire, the following quote by Thomas Jefferson:
“For those to whom much is given, much is required.”