Every summer, across the nation, the top universities in America conduct rigorous debate institutes for high school students.  It is there that the top debaters from public and private schools receive outstanding training on the new policy topic from the nation’s elite debate instructors.

As in previous years, students from the CDL are headed out to participate in these programs where they will live in college dorms, research in college libraries and work with the finest coaches and students in America.  They will represent our city while developing their skills to prepare them for the high-level CDL competition next academic year.

Not surprisingly, attendance at these programs are very expensive.  Fortunately, the CDC has been able to negotiate scholarship awards for our students to attend.  Because of the outstanding reputation of our city’s debaters, these summer programs are very eager to have our students participate in their institutes.  These scholarships make this experience, which would normally be prohibitively expensive, within the financial reach of CDL students.

The following universities awarded scholarships of 50 percent to our students: Georgetown University, University of California at Berkeley, Emory University, Illinois State University and the University of North Texas.

Scholarships in the 25 to 33 percent range were awarded by the University of Texas and Gonzaga University.  Awards were also made by the University of Kentucky, Dartmouth College and Northwestern University.

Samford University generously awarded three full scholarships to CDL debaters.  Erin Carley from Hyde Park Academy, Enkhjin Tumenjargal from Lane Tech, and Hakeem Muhammad from King College Prep will travel to Birmingham, Alabama to work with their outstanding faculty, including Professor Ryan Galloway, one of the nation’s leading college debate coaches.

Abi Williams, Director of the Samford Debate Institute and Lecturer in Classics at Samford, said, “The Samford University Debate Team is extremely encouraged by, and supportive of, the progress of urban debaters and excited to offer three full scholarships to attend our debate institute. It’ll be a great chance for them to live on a college campus, develop their debate skills, and have a lot of fun learning about the 2011-2012 space exploration and development topic with other like-minded students from around the nation. We look forward to seeing some of Chicago’s best debaters on our campus in June!”

The continued support of the Chicago Public Schools and its Summer Quest program, managed by Rhonda Bell, has made it possible for two students to attend summer university programs. Kyle Bibbs from Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men – Englewood Campus will attend the University of North Texas and Ladonna Miller from King College Prep will attend the institute at Georgetown University.

Erin Carley of Hyde Park Academy shares her excitement for the opportunities available to her this summer: “One thing that I’m really looking forward to about camp is being able to work with different cities’ debaters, meet some new people and work with debate legends. This will ultimately be a great way to receive a competitive head start on next year’s topic and help debaters to think critically about additional impact areas and advantages. I am very grateful to the CDL because had it not been for the scholarship they gave me I would not be attending the Samford Debate Institute Camp this summer. We all have ways to get better this summer, the CDSI and other institutes have provided that for us. Now is the time to take advantage of them. I’m really excited to see what will happen this year.”