Luckily, Sanders-Funches is rarely without inspiration. After finishing the research for his POI, for example, he said it took him four to five hours to prepare the program.
“My mind cycles through ideas really fast when I sit in silence. So I would have about 10 great ideas to try if I sat down for one hour or so,” he said.
Balancing multiple tasks comes naturally to Sanders-Funches. In addition to captaining the forensics team, he is a resident assistant and a member of the Black Student Association and the Bias Education team on campus. A recognized leader in the student community, Sanders-Funches was also part of the Homecoming court this past fall.
With what time and ideas he has left over, Sanders-Funches exercises his imagination by rapping, a pastime he first took up in high school. There is a significant connection for him among his chosen artistic pursuits.
“I would say since I write lyrics I have a deep connection with words—how, what, when and why they’re said,” Sanders-Funches said. “This is important because words can be greatly effective if used right. So when completing any piece for forensics I make sure it makes sense to have certain words in a program and that they are being used correctly.”
Sanders-Funches has achieved numerous victories and taken home many trophies, but the most rewarding part for him is connecting with the audience.
“I enjoy crafting messages into programs, then performing those programs,” he said. “The performance provides catharsis for me, and allows me to communicate valuable information to my listeners in receptive ways.”
*Forensics is the accepted term for competitive public speaking. The activity involves students performing head-to-head at tournaments in events that include aspects of public address, debate, literary analysis, rhetorical criticism and theatrical performance.