Like many SVUDL debaters, Tamiera, a Senior at Woodside, only began participating in debate partway through her Senior year. Like many of the superstars that appear as Debaters of the Week, she jumped into the deep end and immediately distinguished herself, earning the Top Speaker award in all of the competitions she has entered.
Such rapid success suggests that Tamiera has been a pro at public speaking her whole life, but it took hard work and real courage for her to get to this point. When she first joined debate Tamiera suffered from 'podium fright:' "If there were too many people watching, I'd start to stutter," she recalls. Time and practice moved her past this long-held fear of public speaking, and she sees "getting over [it] as my biggest accomplishment. Now it feels natural!" She's noticed that her involvement with debate has led her to participate more in class and has improved her communication with others in general. She's happy to debate whatever topic is assigned, but felt particular connection to the topic of gentrification due to her direct experience with this issue.
Tamiera is grateful to SVUDL's Shauntrice Martin for sparking her interest in debate and serving as a role model, and credits much of her debate success to Shauntrice's advice. She is also deeply inspired by Shauntrice's confidence in who she is. "She's always herself, she is authentic and doesn't change her ways for anyone."
Unlike most debaters, Tamiera isn't interested in law school. Instead, she hopes to apply her talents to community building and social justice working as a social worker or probation officer. She will enroll at the College of San Mateo this fall and is eyeing the possibility of starting a debate club. Eventually, she plans to transfer to the University of Alabama.
Congratulations Tamiera on earning this week's Debater of the Week honor!