How do you know an urban debate program works? When students demonstrate greater confidence? When a young person's critical thinking and literacy improve? When 100% of Seniors graduate?
Or is it when you hold a workshop, and every session is led by an alum of your program? SVUDL met this milestone this past weekend at our workshop- Brandon, Mariam, and Destiny put the leadership, intellectual, and personal gains they achieved with SVUDL to great use, empowering the next generation of SVUDL debaters to build their own skills. These three remarkable young people serve as role models, and now mentors and teachers, to the youth currently in the program. Their growth is testament to the power of debate to transform lives.
Nearly 1/3 of the students who attended were at their first workshop, a sign of a program that's continuing to reach new youth. The workshop took place at Live in Peace in East Palo Alto, where SVUDL is pilot-testing its first out of school partnership. We celebrated Lunar New Year with each student receiving a "red envelope" and learning about Working Strategically with your Partner, Digging Deeper into the China Topic, Impact Analysis,Analytical Argument and Speech Structure. The Legal Mentor Working Group held a mentor training with 6 new mentors in attendance, ready to be paired with a SVUDL youth they will mentor all the way to their first year of law school.
Excitement is starting to build for the upcoming Ella Baker Tournament on February 18th; the winner of the Varsity division at that event will go on to represent SVUDL at the National Urban Debate League Championships! This will also be a momentous first for our young league, one more step forward on the path of transforming the lives of the young people who will change the world. (More photos here.)