SVUDL students made history at the Ella Baker Tournament during Black History Month. This tournament sees the selection of the debater who will represent SVUDL at the National Association of Urban Debate League's National Championships! That event will be held in April and (drumroll please) SVUDL's rep this year will be Najma Ali! This is the second year in a row that SVUDL will be represented by an Ali- her older brother Zak filled this role in 2016, and went on to earn top honors at SVUDL's 2016 League Championship. The family debate legacy continues in little sister Samiya, a recent Debater of the Week who debated at the JV level for the first time on Saturday and whose team took 3rd Place Overall - a heady accomplishment for a Freshman debating Juniors and Seniors.
It's not just the Ali siblings who are distinguishing themselves. EPAA's team was all Latina, another SVUDL first. These inspiring young women took the First and Second Speaker prizes AND Top Novice Team award. Nick Fisher, a Woodside student who started debating at the 2016 Summer Institute debate camp, has been making steady gains all year. This tournament, he earned the Top JV Speaker nod- showing Summer Camp pays.Kimberly Lam took Top Varsity Speaker and Abigail Kudelft earned Second Place Varsity Speaker.
Twenty-two judges attended to support SVUDL students in their skill development. The judge pool included law students from Santa Clara University's Black Student Law Association, communication majors from our San Jose State University intern program, students/debaters from Stanford- and SVUDL alum and San Francisco State University freshman Zak Ali! Alumni Interns Destiny, Mariam, and Brandon also jumped in to make the tournament happen. Three cheers for our amazing volunteers and interns and everything they make possible for our students!