Brittany Cos, Class of 2006:
Because of my participation with debate, I'm never afraid to speak publicly, I will always speak my mind, I have gained a great deal of knowledge with hanging out with the eccentric debaters at tournaments, and I feel overly confident. At first, when I signed up for the class, I thought of it as merely a time to "debate" (or to argue), but it has grown into so much more. It has allowed me the opportunity to truly express myself, to gain the fellowship of others, and to have a blast in the meantime.
Amanda DeStefano, Class of 2009:
I signed up for debate because I wanted to be more aware of how to present myself when doing public speaking activities. Debate helps when you have to make presentations in class. Since most people hate presenting it can help increase your ability to perform and not be so nervous. But it's more than that; the people you get to meet and all of the friends you make in the program and tournaments are wonderful. In addition, debate has prepared me more for college because, through the class and tournaments, I have learned about what is actually going on in the world instead of being isolated from the news.
William Fetzko, Class of 2009:
Debate is a wonderful program, not only in terms of academics, but it's very beneficial to your high school career, due to the fact that it's a great way to make friends and it's something you can really enjoy. I love public speaking, and arguing, making people eat their words, and making people laugh.
Caitlyn Gross, Class of 2006:
I singed up for debate because I thought it would be a good thing to have on a college application. But debate ended up being the most beneficial experience of my high school years. Debate not only allowed me to grow as a person and student, it allowed me to become who I am. I have crossed path with some of the most amazing people I believe I will ever meet from competitors to judges and coaches. These people simply make it fun. I've learned how to manipulate people to my advantage be it to will or accomplish something I need to win in a debate round. Not only that, but debate has helped me learn how to research properly and write rather quickly and to the point. Seeing as I'm going to college soon, this was rather important, and I'm really not that afraid for what lies ahead.
Zach Hindin, Class of 2006:
If you have any inkling of a thought that you might be interested in Debate, take it! What's the worst that could happen? Debate teaches you how to break down, analyze, and formulate solid responses to an argument. Depending on what event you do, a debater can also learn about the nature of the American political system, begin to understand the principles that guide our global community, study philosophical theories and ideas that have shaped the way humans have thought for centuries, or even about drama and theater. And debate has absolutely prepared me for college. The skills needed to perform well and achieve merit at a debate tournament are the same ones needed to ace the hardest classes. Organization skills, as well as analytical and critical thinking are all refined and developed through participation in debate. Moreover, participating in debate can open a lot of doors for the high school student. Beyond colleges and universities looking favorably on an experience in debate, there are a number of scholarships that are available through the debate community to help a student pay for school. In my case, debate helped me spend the summer of my junior year in Washington, D.C., studying Foreign Policy at Georgetown University and working with a slew of lobby groups that put me in face-to-face dialogue with our nation's top leaders, including Bill and Hilary Clinton, Senator Barak Obama, former presidential candidates Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Palm Beach County Rep. Mark Foley, and a number of leaders from the Pentagon, FBI, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and embassies from around the world.
Raquel Kraushar, Class of 2008:
Incoming freshmen: If you love to act, debate is great, because you can compete in it and win awards! I signed up for debate, initially just because it will look good on a college resume. But I continued debate because it's just a great extra-curricular activity in which to be involved! I met my best friend through debate, but besides that, the most fun thing would probably be that you can argue politics with someone else who can argue about politics. I've learned that public speaking isn't always that hard. I'd always be that person that contemplated if I should go in the middle for projects or go second to last. But now speaking in front of people comes naturally to me, and that's going to help me, well, forever! And not only is debate one of the greatest things a college can look for, but public speaking or being able to meet new people is something that debate will fully prepare you for. Since I'm probably going out-of-state, I'm definitely going to have to easily be able to approach people.
Amy Levine, Class of 2007:
Debate has most definitely helped prepare me for college. I will be able to speak confidently in my college interviews, be able to write better entrance essays, and now I know how to research for college papers that will be assigned. I signed up for debate because I wanted to learn how to be confident while speaking in front of a large crowd, while at the same time improving my writing and speaking skills. I also wanted to make friends for life through the debate program, and I have! The away tournaments are the best part because you get to spend an entire bus ride up with people you like being around. I have learned a lot about current events that come in handy for my history class. I also feel and sound more knowledgeable about topics that most people know nothing about so it is always fun to see the face of someone who is so shocked to see such an intellectual teenager.