The CDL alum selected by the Chicago Debate Commission to receive the Michele Coleman Mayes Scholarship of $5,000 is Hanna Nasser. Hanna graduated from Whitney Young Magnet H.S. in 2012. At Whitney Young she won the Chicago Debate Championship in 2011 and the Illinois High School Association Varsity Debate Championship in 2012, the first CPS team to ever earn this distinction. She was also the first female urban debate league student ever to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, which she did in 2011. Hanna completed her first year at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a nearly straight-A grade-point average and has received impressive faculty review of her work.
It is well worth noting that there were three other candidates who submitted very strong applications for this scholarship, and that the deliberations of the Chicago Debate Commission were very difficult ones, despite Hanna’s impressive credentials. We have alums that we can all be very proud of. This time, Hanna Nasser is the recipient of our symbolic recognition and encouragement, and very tangible $5,000 in support for her college education.
The Michele Coleman Mayes CDL Alum Scholarship is a one-time award offered to a CDL alum by Allstate Insurance, in honor of Michele Coleman Mayes, Allstate’s former general counsel and now general counsel of the New York Public Library. Ms. Mayes was — and remains — a great champion of the Chicago Debate League and its remarkably talented students and dedicated coaches and teachers.