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‘Incredibly powerful:’ National History Day Competition showcases student stories about the past

MILWAUKEE -- Months of research and hard work finally paid off at the National History Day Milwaukee Regional Contest on Saturday, March 9.

"National History Day means everything to me, because it's inspired me to be the person that I am," said Braiya Nolan, a sophomore.

The longtime contest is like a science fair for history -- something Nolan has a passion for.

National History Day Competition

Braiya Nolan

"I knew I had to do it again, I knew I had to do better, and it just really created this fire burning inside me to keep going and keep doing better," said Nolan.

The competition means a lot to both teachers and students, and Nolan is just one of 275 students in the area competing. She chose to feature a Spanish Civil War photographer for this year's theme: Triumph and Tragedy.

National History Day Competition

Jenny Kalvaitis

"I'm very excited to see what the judges have to say about it," said Nolan.

The contest is hosted by the Wisconsin Historical Society, and is one of eight contests across the state. It showcases talented students who learn how to research and think critically -- and then display their knowledge in anything from a performance, paper or exhibit.

"National History Day is just an incredibly powerful program in helping students learn who they are and stories about our past," said Jenny Kalvaitis, Wisconsin Historical Society.

National History Day Competition

Students who do well Saturday will move onto the state competition in Madison next month. The state competition will take place April 13 at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where students will compete to move onto nationals.

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