Six rising SVUDL stars will argue before sitting 9th Circuit judges at the 2nd Annual Moot Court on May 1. This event gives our top debaters the chance to significantly advance critical thinking, argumentation, and public speaking skills. The students are already spending hours building the case around an issue the US Supreme Court is expected to rule on days after this event. As part of the lead-up to Moot Court, we're dedicating the next few Debater of the Week profiles to Moot Court debaters. This special series launches now with Esme Cordova!
Esme is a Junior and 2nd year debater at East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy. Esme and her partner Nyisha have worked well together since their first competition, earning fifth place at that event. Esme, however, isn't one to talk about her accomplishments in terms of places and wins, preferring the more substantial measure of personal development. "One of the biggest accomplishment...is that I learned to be more open-minded. Being in debate opens up your mind.
Esme also credits debate with helping her build confidence. "Before, I was afraid to talk in front of people. Since I have debated I lost the fear of talking in front of people and I feel more confident in myself. "
While many debaters are excited about pursuing a career in law after college, Esme plans on a double major in medicine and business, knowing she can take what she has accomplished in debate and apply it to her studies across disciplines. Feeling confident to speak up and defend your ideas, welcoming other's ideas, and nurturing a hunger to learn are all critical aspects of being successful no matter what you pursue, and Esme has developed these traits in debate. This is why she strongly recommends joining debate to her peers. Her success in tournaments is just the beginning, but holds a tantalizing preview of how well she will do at Moot Court. Congratulations Esme on being this week's Debater of the Week!