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Amanda Martin's DI Story

The following is an essay by Amanda Martin that won her the 2012 Texas DI Scholarship. The essay highlights how DI has impacted her life.


Destination Imagination is an organization where creativity is key, where crazy is ok, where being different is encouraged, where fitting in is unacceptable, and where true life-long friendships are made. DI is a global organization that involves creative problem solving and thinking outside of the box. Before DI, I would never have imagined walking into a room full of materials and being able to solve a problem such as move a brick across the room with only straws, toothpicks, tape, and index cards. DI has taught me how to solve that problem in less than five minutes.

DI has always been a part of my life. I wouldn’t think how I think today without my experience in DI. I wouldn’t know how to act in a stressful situation or how to think quickly. When I see a problem, I can instantly think of many ways to solve it, and sometimes even the most simple ways are the best.

Eleven years ago one of my teachers grouped five of my fellow classmates and me together on a team. Four of us are still on the same team today. We have completely different personalities, yet somehow we manage to work as a whole to solve a problem.

After eleven years together, seven trips to state competition, and three trips to Global Finals, I honestly feel like these people are my family.

Because of DI I know how to fix almost anything with duct tape, I don’t freak out under pressure, and I know how to be different. I also know how to look at something from different points of views.

When I mention DI, whether it be on an application or meeting new people, I always get “What’s that?” In short, I say creative problem solving. It makes me very upset that more people don’t know what DI is.


At regional, state, and global competitions, we are always told that we are the future. National organizations such as 3M, NASA, and the National Dairy Council, are sponsors for the DI organization. They want creative problem solvers like us to work for them one day. Not many organizations match DI.  Where else could you get praised for being different, be told you will change the world, and make life long friends? It is also an organization where most of the officials are past alumni of DI.

This being my senior year, it will be my last year being a participant in DI. Because of everything DI has given me I expect to return for many years to come as a judge.  DI has changed the way I think about things. It has made me the thinker I am today. And hopefully one day it will affect my kids the same way it affected me.

*  Their Senior year, Amanda’s team once again advanced to the state and global competition, and took first place at each.  Since graduating high school, Amanda has appraised each year for DI at the regional and state competitions.


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