Pranav Pattatathunaduvil | Second Place in Foreign Extemp at the 2019 National Speech and Debate Tournament, Second Place at the 2020 Harvard University Tournament, and Champion of the New York City Invitational.
For so long, whenever I had an important event or performance coming up, I would always tense up and go into a coughing fit. I felt like throwing up and the nerves always got the best of me. But what speech and debate gave me was a sense of confidence. It showed me that my voice mattered and that I could truly have an impact, no matter who I was, what I did, or where I came from.
Alyssa Nie | Champion of the 2020 Harvard University Tournament in Public Forum Debate
Speech and Debate has been a highlight of my high school experience! Not only has it connected me with my best friends, it’s also allowed me to develop a love of research, inquiry, and critical thinking about real world issues. The argumentation I’ve learned through Debate can be applied in every subject, and I find myself comprehending difficult concepts at school much faster. I am very grateful to the activity for giving me the confidence to voice my thoughts, aiding me in every aspect of my life!
Angela Wang | 1st Place in Foreign Extemp at the 2020 National Speech and Debate Tournament and Two-Time State Champion in Foreign Extemp at the Texas Forensic Association Championship
Before I joined Speech and Debate, I was terrified of speaking in front of people and was also really nervous when it came to talking to and meeting new people. However, joining this activity completely changed that for me and has honestly helped me grow and develop in so many ways as a person. Not only have I learned how to articulate my thoughts in a clear way and effectively collaborate with others, but I’ve also gained so much self confidence along the way, learning how to be self assured even under stressful situations. Best of all, I found such an accepting, supportive, and all around amazing community to be a part of and have made so many meaningful friendships along the way. Overall, joining Speech and Debate is genuinely the best decision that I’ve made during high school, and I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
Jordyn Allen | The 2019 National Speech and Debate Tournament Champion in Informative Speaking
Speech and debate teaches students how to stand up and speak out. More importantly, it provides a platform for students to amplify the voices and stories of their communities. Speech and Debate provided that platform for me—it gave me a space to spark conversations about issues plaguing my community.
Mellessa Denney | 19-year Speech and Debate Coach of Amarillo High School