High School Debate Programs Create Student Advocates For Change

High school debaters are encouraged to think outside the box when it comes to researching current events. Debate students tend to look at issues differently than their non-debate counterparts. They seek to understand all aspects of the topic through diligent research, writing, preparation, and persuasive delivery. While researching various worldly topics, students find themselves invigorated long after the debate ends.

“By participating in tournaments, students figure out how to advocate for something they believe in.” Because high school debaters are exposed to global topics early on, they also develop stronger beliefs to go with their investigations. High school students are naturally opinioned, so debate allows them the opportunity to fully understand the subject.

Studies have shown that high school debaters go on to become policy changers, lawmakers, and advocates in their careers. Due to their priming in high school, these students enter college ready to make a difference. Students continue on to be activists in their respective fields because, as Colin Powell says, “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.”

Debate opens the door for high school students to study the problems that affect the global community, research and analyze solutions, formally and logically argue ways to resolve issues, engage in thoroughly examined rebuttals, and persuasively present their argument to large audiences. Debate has the ability to empower students. When debaters are passionate about a topic, they realize that they possess the tools to invoke real change.

Debaters who become advocates for change are able to do so because they possess organization skills, have excellent time management, acquire a strong ability to multi-task, are extremely well-versed on the topic at hand, are able to deliver influential discussions on the issue, answer questions at the drop of a hat, and showcase a high level of self confidence and assurance.