Student Voices: Chicago debaters testify to activity’s benefits

“Debate was the best thing that ever happened to me. When I was younger I wanted to be a lawyer. Then my mother was shot and I just stopped believing it was possible. Debate has so many possibilities. I have been accepted to more than one college. I also have money to get there. There are so many kids like me who have a dream but stopped believing for some reason. If the funding for debate is cut they will never get the chance I had. There are so many things in their life discouraging them, they need a program where they feel like anything is possible. That program is debate.”

Alesha Fullilove
Senior, 18, Marshall High School

“Debating in the CDL has definitely had a major effect on me.  Now I realize that my beliefs are not right or best, just because they are mine. I learned to accept that other people have certain beliefs as well as me. Through debate, I also learned how to speak more fluently and not be intimidated by others. I also learned how to read quickly with understanding, which was extremely great for the ACT.”

Shanisha Tillman
Junior, 16, Prosser Career Academy

“I’ve had plenty of good times debating at these tournaments: I’ve met new people, made friends, and learned about colleges, more thoroughly. I believe that the impact that debating has on my educational and personal life is very radical. My reading has increased in terms of speed and understanding. I now know more about the problems that both our country and the world face, and I’ve been doing significantly better in school.”

Luis Miguel Magallanes
Sophomore, 16, Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy