LAKEVILLE, Minn. -- In a classroom he's been in many times before, Lakeville North senior Mitchell Bermel suddenly seemed at a loss for words. Strange, for a student who is the captain of the Panthers speech team, but the subject was one that Mitch isn't used to talking about, and that's himself.
"You have to give me a moment to think about this," a frustrated Nick blurted out. "I'm not used to thinking about this stuff."
"This stuff" was a question about what makes Mitchell successful when it comes to speech, and when he finally did come up with an answer, he still left himself out of the equation.
"I have a great coach," said Mitch. "It's because of him I am where I am. He's so insightful and he knows the perfect amount of what I need to make that speech impactful."
Pressed to come explain where he comes into the equation, Mitchell again found a way to be self-deprecating.
Said Mitch, "I have the ability to follow directions well, to keep my own opinions out of it, and be able to trust in others."
Likewise, others have found the ability to trust in Mitchell. The Student Council President at Lakeville North, and a senior class officer, Mitchell is not only a captain of the Panthers Speech team, but he is also the two-time section champion in the "Great Speeches" Category.
Mitchell represented Lakeville North at Boys State and he just concluded his eagle scout project, where he collected school supplies for the Ayudame Orphanage, in Bogata, Columbia, the very same orphanage Mitchell was adopted from 17-years ago.
"I thought that it would be a great opportunity to maybe see if there was something that I could do for them," says Mitch.
What Mitch did was set-up a drive to collect school supplies, and a project that started as a way to achieve the highest award in scouting ended-up with Mitchell getting something much more valuable.
"I'm not as concerned about getting my Eagle ranks as I am knowing I'll make an impact on those kids' lives. That's what's most important to me. If I didn't get that rank I'd be okay because I know that those kids have something they didn't before, that I helped them out in some way."
Mitchell plans to attend Carleton and it shouldn't come as a surprise that right now that he has an eye on studying international relations.
Says Mitchell, "You don't always understand where people are coming from, and you think negatively of them. But then, when you take time and you get to know who they are, a whole new picture is formed. And, I love that idea, and if I can do that on the international stage I just feel that the benefits are amazing."
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)