I graduated from Prosser Career Academy in 2010 after spending all four years on the debate team. Being a debater was one of the best decisions that I could have made for my life.

I received a merit scholarship to debate for the Illinois State University Forensics Team and am now debating as a junior. Being involved in debate in high school and on the collegiate level prepared me greatly for college. In every course, I use the critical thinking and analysis skills, public speaking, and confidence that I gained in debate.

Muriel Dorsey at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2012

Since graduating from Prosser, I have continued my commitment to urban debate, judging as many tournaments as I can while being a full-time student, and teaching CDL summer debate workshops. I also attended the Aspen Ideas Festival where I and another CDL Alum demonstrated the merits of policy debate.

I recently became an AmeriCorps Member in the Illinois JusticeCorps Branch, where I am assisting diverse low-income people with legal issues. Law school is definitely in my sights. In high school, debate gave me opportunities to shadow and interact with lawyers—and propelled my passion for law. A partner that I met through the CDL has continued to be a great mentor to me.

In retrospect, I know that all this would not have been possible without my involvement in debate. As a student coming from a tough west side neighborhood, my opportunities were limited. But debate prepared me for college, graduate school, and the career that I have always dreamed of having.