Kaden Lincoln is comfortable. He is confident. And he is collected. And the vaunted competitor they have nicknamed "Baby Giraffe" is anything but clumsy when he is talking in front of others.
Kaden is part of one of the best dynasties in Montana history. The Loyola Speech and Debate team has won 35 consecutive Montana Class B-C state championships. Since his freshman year, he has helped contribute to his team's golden legacy.
"Seems like most people are somewhat afraid of public speaking, and don't want to do it. But I think, just getting out and getting out of your comfort zone with speech and debate will help me later in life for sure." Lincoln laughs.
When not busy practicing for the next speech and debate meet, Lincoln enjoys helping others. When members of the community come to the Missoula Food Bank for help, Kaden watches their children; playing games, singing songs, and dancing. And for Kaden, the pupil has become the teacher. After school a few times a week, Lincoln teaches middle school math.
"They work through it themselves, they use their brain, they are learning new skills, so I think that is really cool to watch." Lincoln says.
The man that Kaden model's his teaching style after is his longtime speech and debate coach, AP US History teacher Matt Stergios.
"What you see with Kaden is what you get. He is a solid person, he is a nice person. He is a good person. I don't think he is going to let his career aspirations define who he is. He is going to be a solid citizen, no matter what he does. He makes me look good, he makes Loyola look good, he represents us very well." Stergios says.
After missing a perfect score on the ACT by two questions, Kaden has said that Stanford is his number one choice. But wherever his bright future takes him, this speech and debate state champion wants to continue to bring people together.
"These are incredibly divisive times. It seems like people spend more time arguing with each other than helping each other. So I think it's crucial that we help those who are struggling or who are neglected in today's society, then we can improve together as a society." Lincoln says.