Kierra, East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, East Palo Alto
Kierra, East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, East Palo Alto

Kierra is a junior and the heart of her debate team. She has never missed a tournament and works diligently to strengthen the SVUDL Women's Association. As co-captain of the team, she aims to make debate an even bigger part of her school's culture. She recently organized a public debate at the Sidley Austin law firm. "Debate has helped me advocate for myself and my fellow students." Kierra has her eye on a career in the legal field and has already started plans to open her law firm in the future. 

Ralph, Mt. Pleasant, San Jose
Ralph, Mt. Pleasant, San Jose

A cadet staff sergeant for Junior ROTC, Ralph's favorite subjects are government and history. He plans to attend college, become an officer in the Marine Corps, and then parlay his education and experience into a career in politics- culminating in the Presidency of the United States! Along with natural leadership acumen, Ralph demonstrates impressive dedication to debate. He competed in his first tournament last spring, and took home First Team Overall honors in his second tournament in September. This focused young man is finding his voice and preparing to shine bright in the future!

Denise, Silver Creek, San Jose
Denise, Silver Creek, San Jose

Denise is a junior and a student leader on campus. She has helped recruit over a dozen new debaters to her squad at Silver Creek. In her own words, "debate has helped me become the best possible me". She represented SVUDL in the Hewlett Packard Enterprises- sponsored Moot Court event, which featured Bay Area judges and politicians. She is multi-talented with extracurricular activities that include debate, the Women's Association, track and field, and modeling. 

Blanca, East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, East Palo Alto
Blanca, East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, East Palo Alto

Blanca is co-captain of the debate team at East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy where she mentors middle school students. She is a proud young Mexican woman who believes strongly in community building. Her goal is to graduate from college and use her talents to create opportunities for others. She is ambitiously considering two career paths: law and fashion. This will allow her to stylishly fight for the rights of undocumented workers and others in the community who face discrimination.

Santiago, East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, East Palo Alto
Santiago, East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, East Palo Alto

Santi is a fierce policy debater. In his third debate ever he took home the Top Novice team award! He first got involved in debate for the scholarship opportunities, but kept with it because "the people and SVUDL...made me feel welcome and became my second family." Santi loves policy debate in particular and the opportunity it presents to feast on the intellectual richness of an issue by examining it from multiple perspectives. He hopes to one day take his experience and love of debate into the courtroom as a lawyer and eventually start his own defense firm. 

 

Dominic, Overfelt, San Jose
Dominic, Overfelt, San Jose

Dominic is a focused student and currently serves as captain of the Junior Varsity squad at Overfelt. As a second year debater, he has been a huge asset to the SVUDL program. Last year he presented at Google and debated at a national tournament. Dominic plans to open his own law firm that will focus on helping small businesses in low income communities, and has his sights on attending an international university. He is currently studying Japanese, along with martial arts, boxing, journalism, and photography.