Talk to a debater and you’ll hear one thing repeatedly: no part of their education had a larger impact in their life than debate.
Debate programs are more important than ever for students in today's environment. During the 2022-23 school year, dynamic programs like our I RESOLVE Public Debate Series and the White & Case NAUDL Fellows paid internship continue to thrive. This Giving Tuesday, we ask you to join us in supporting the next generation of civic leaders, academics, and innovators through this transformative activity.
Why Debate? Recent studies have found that participation in debate increases a student’s GPA by .66 points, along with an increase of 50 points in Math and Reading SAT scores. Additional research from our partners at the Boston Debate League demonstrates that urban debate leagues are cost-effective programs that can help 9th grade students make-up the equivalent of 68% of a full year of 9th grade English Language Arts skills. "Policy debate programs apprear to generate twice the impact on English Language Arts test scores per dollar spent when compared to state-of-the-art high dosage tutoring."
At NAUDL, we look to extend these benefits to schools and students who would not otherwise have access to these opportunities. It is these students and alumni who we look to most to showcase how debate has impacted their readiness for the classroom and beyond. Together with our 20 partner leagues, NAUDL hosts forums and platforms that promote not just competition, but community, for 10,000 debaters in over 700 schools annually.
Miami-Dade Urban Debate League alum Dewayne Martin, a senior studying public policy at Hamilton College, captured this well when he shared that debate “is a space where I have found a community of care, while also finding an intellectual space to build as a training ground for solutions for my community.”
Chicago Debates alum Nikola Stamenkovic-Diaz, a senior at Northwestern University studying political policy and gender and sexuality studies, agreed. “Debate really gave me the platform and the opportunity to explore hard and difficult research topics that aren’t conventionally available to public school students,” Nikola expressed, “especially in Title I schools like the ones a lot of me and my friends came from.”
On Giving Tuesday we invite you to join our efforts to make this year even more influential. Our programs support debate for middle and high schoolers across the country, but you don’t need to take our word for how big of an impact debate can have on the life of a student. Follow along on our social channels to hear how our alumni answer the question; #WhyDebate?