Our mission is to provide supplemental funding to public high school debate and speech organizations that have experienced significant cuts in their budgets or receive no public school funds for their programs.
Famous debaters can be traced all the way back to Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle, who formed the craft of speech. Many leaders of the past such as Malcolm X and George W. Bush also have a background in debate that served their positions of power. The leaders of today also inevitably owe part of their success to high school and college debate.
Oprah Winfrey, who is famously known for her communication skills as a talk show host, joined the debate team in high school. She understands how to empathize with others, command a room, and express herself all with the power of her voice. Not only did debate improve her interaction with others, but also it gave her a scholarship that helped fund her college education.
At 16 former Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia was on the debate team at Xavier High School in Manhattan. He was one of six students on a panel chosen by The New York Times to discuss the upcoming presidential election between the Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai E. Stevenson. This experience encouraged him to form ideas of his own and stand by these beliefs.
Other well-known leaders such as Hilary Clinton (Presidential Candidate), Nelson Mandela (Former South American President), and Thomas Foley (Speaker of the United States House of Representatives) just to name a few. Additionally, numerous U.S. presidents and more than half of the U.S. senators competed in high school or college debate.
Leadership often comes with power and the ability to create a difference. This change wouldn’t be possible without strong voices guiding the way. Leaders must not only have confidence in themselves, but they must encourage this sureness amongst others.
High school debate and speech often encourages students to pursue the same interests at a university. In the collegiate level, students can combine new knowledge and gain more confidence in their ideas. For those who might see higher education as out of their reach, participating in debate makes this dream more attainable. Ultimately, debaters often go on to become leaders in their respective fields.