This week we are excited to feature Kierra Jackson, a rising junior at the East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy.
Kierra joined debate last year to hone her argumentation skills and push herself to do her best work. She had always enjoyed History and English, feeling as if she was a natural born storyteller, and debate provided an outlet for her voice- and, unexpectedly, a broader view of herself, her strengths, and her future.
Kierra became more involved in debate throughout the year, attending local and national level tournaments. At the Stanford Invitational, her first national tournament, Kierra and her debate partner Blanca lost each round, and noted how the debate world seemed to lack diversity.
“This tournament just pushed me to become more of a leader,” Kierra says.
While Kierra is still in high school, she aspires to study psychology and social structures around the world and then become a criminal justice lawyer. Debate, she says, will help her achieve that goal.
“Debate is like a lower status court of law, which is where I want to be in my future,” Kierra says. “Since I keep up in rounds and tournaments, a courtroom will feel like a second home.
“Taking mind of who you are talking to helps you get your points across,” Kierra says. “Debate has become a lifestyle for me...it helps me communicate.”