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Trussville girl is finalist for $10,000 memory championship

Malyn Smith photo

Trussville, AL—A Trussville fifth-grader will embark in less than three weeks on a voyage to become a national memory champion and earn a $10,000 grand prize.


Malyn Smith, 10, of Trussville, is one of 16 finalists in the National Memory Master competition. On May 2 Malyn will compete in three rounds of academic memory testing during a five-day cruise to the Bahamas aboard the Carnival cruise ship Victory. Each of the finalists received two free tickets to the cruise and $800 in traveling money.

 “I was shocked to be selected as a NMM finalist,” Malyn said. “It still feels like I'm living in a dream!”

The 16 finalists have already been through a rigorous series of local and regional competitions to reach the finals. When asked to give a presentation about world history from 800 A.D. to 1812 A.D., Malyn noted that while history has been impacted by kings, generals, popes and artists, each one of us can change the course of someone else’s history.

The National Memory Master competition is hosted by Classical Conversations, a classical education resource used by homeschoolers in all 50 states and 14 foreign countries. Classical Conversations now has more than 93,000 students enrolled in its tutoring programs.

Malyn attends the Riverchase Classical Conversations community in Hoover, Alabama.  She is the daughter of Aron and Aimee Smith and has three brothers. Malyn is finishing her fifth year as a Classical Conversations, or CC, student.

“Her passion for life and learning drives her education,” Malyn’s mother said. “In class, her leadership motivates her friends to pursue learning and her creativity with words adds joy to her classroom.” 

Malyn can often be found building a fort in the woods with her three brothers, “but I also enjoy time alone to read a good book, crochet a gift, or learn about horses,” she explained.

In addition to the National Memory Masters competition, the first CC Capstone Cruise will also feature the third annual National Number Knockout finals and CC’s first high school commencement.

CC provides resources, guidance and a community for a home school curriculum using classical education in three developmental stages: grammar, dialectic and rhetoric, and taught from a Christian worldview, according to its founder, Leigh Bortins. She says CC supports homeschooling parents by cultivating the love of learning through a Christian worldview in fellowship with other families. She believes there are three keys to a great education: classical, Christian and community.

Started in 1997 and headquartered in West End, North Carolina, CC is a family-owned company that provides services to almost 1,900 CC communities around the world. For more information visit 

John Carpenter, Communication Journalist
Classical Conversations® 
(423) 618-3753


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