Announcing SVUDL's New Executive Director

The Silicon Valley Urban Debate League (SVUDL) is pleased to announce that Rolland Janairo is joining the organization as its new Executive Director. 

Born and raised in New York City to parents who immigrated from the Philippines, Rolland has developed a deep appreciation for the transformative power of education as a product of the NYC public school system. While attending and after graduating from Brown University, Rolland volunteered and taught at a preschool in Providence, Rhode Island. He later earned his Masters Degree in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During his time in Boston, Rolland was the Associate Director of Teacher Development at Jumpstart for Young Children, as well as the Director of Playmaker Operations at Life is Good Playmakers. Most recently, Rolland served as the Chief Operating Officer at World Savvy. In his spare time, Rolland enjoys running, cooking, and exploring the Bay Area with his wife and two young boys. 

He looks forward to “working with the SVUDL team to grow and strengthen our partnerships with schools across Silicon Valley, with aspirations to truly set our students up for success in the workforce, higher education, and beyond.”

Debate teaches students to analyze complex issues, formulate evidence-based arguments, and communicate these persuasively. By engaging students in debate, SVUDL empowers low-income youth and unlocks the power of their voices to become advocates for themselves, their future employers and their communities. SVUDL was launched in 2014 to fill a startling gap in after-school academic opportunities in high-poverty schools throughout the Silicon Valley. What began with two pilot programs in August 2014 has since grown to nearly 400 students in 11 schools and organizations. The young people it serves are 70% low-income, 90% of color, and nearly 80% are young women.

SVUDL reaches students who face incredible odds at school and at home as they work to graduate from high school and plan for their futures. Debate - by providing actual portable skills transferable to professions, business and academia - provides a singular opportunity for students to learn to operate effectively within a wide variety of settings and institutions.  Having those skills will enable students to fulfill their potential, achieve their aspirations and to work to shape society in accordance with their values.