OCONOMOWOC, Wis. — A best friend duo has made history within the Kettle Moraine School District after they both clinched national champion titles during the National History Day competition.
"I think it took like a solid two minutes for it to actually sink in," said Krin Blegen.
National History Day (NHD) is a non-profit that holds history competitions for more than half a million 6th to 12th grade students a year.
Eighth graders Emma Manion and Krin Blegen entered the latest competition and spent hours researching and preparing.
"It's really just a great outlet to take your personal interests and use them to research something you normally wouldn't learn about in school," said Manion.
Manion put on a 10-minute performance that focused on Lutie Stearns. Stearns is an activist who started free libraries all over Wisconsin.
"Her main goal was to make sure that people in rural areas and people of all backgrounds have access to information. I think that we can really learn from Stearns' strategies to make the internet accessible," said Manion.
Krin chose to do a documentary that highlighted the 200-day marches in Milwaukee during the 60s that protested racial discrimination in housing.
"The grassroots debate and diplomacy that you had in the 1960s, I connected it to the social activism of youth today. The important connections that we make from history to now is one of the only ways we can move forward," said Blegen.
And now that they've got a championship title under their belt, they say their future is looking bright.
"The tools that I gained through NHD will help me for the rest of my life," said Blegen.
"Being able to use all the skills and tools and strategies we've learned from NHD from this outlet in the future is definitely going to be really important," said Manion.