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San Francisco, CA

April brings a new alumna to the spotlight! This month we are featuring Isabella Chow, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and competed with Legacy speech club and Clash debate club from 2012 to 2016. While in middle school, Isabella attended her first speech and debate camp and decided to try forensics in ninth grade. She was nervous initially, but ended up falling in love with speech and debate and competed at NITOC in four out of her five years in Stoa. She even showed up ready for her first NITOC debate round after fighting off the stomach flu just the day before! Isabella remembers the priceless look of relief on her debate partner’s face and reminds us, “Ain’t nothing gonna stop a pumped debater!”

After graduating high school, Isabella attended UC Berkeley, where she graduated with her B.A. in Music and B.S. in Business Administration in 2019. She now works in management consulting in San Francisco. “Management consulting is a popular first job for business students,” she says. “Personally, I really enjoy the fast-paced nature of work as well as the broad exposure to different clients and types of projects.” Her experience in speech and debate has been a tremendous asset in her academic and professional endeavors.

Both her school and her work frequently require public communication and spontaneous thinking, from presenting slides to brainstorming ideas with project partners. As for where her job might take her? “Not sure, to be honest,” she answers. “Maybe I’ll be a tech CEO, elected official, partner at a consulting firm, homeschool mom…” — depending on how well-behaved her kids are, she jokingly clarifies — “…or all of the above!” Isabella says she’s looking forward to living in the Bay Area for the next couple of years. She loves the celebration of Asian culture, the endless sunny days, and, most of all, the prospect of more time spent with her family.

Isabella stays involved with Stoa by driving her younger sister to tournaments and judging when she’s able to. She’s grateful for Stoa’s influence, training that taught her about influencing society for Christ. Now in her post-college career, she carries lessons from competition with her. “As we move away from the shelter of homeschooling to the real world, it’s pretty safe to expect seasons where life is difficult and where questions of faith seem unanswered. Remember that God is big enough to handle your doubts and strong enough to calm your fears. Run to Him with your questions, not away from Him. He’ll always be there.”


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