"Everything they do in debate matters." We chat to Willie Hernandez, Board Chair & Words to the Wise Platinum Sponsor about the importance of learning debate skills and why diversity in the professionals SVUDL students meet is crucial for their success.Read More
Congratulations to everyone who took part in our 2019 Summer Debate Institute from July 22-26. Thank you to our debate coaches, Yerba Buena High School in San Jose, and the fabulous stars from San Francisco’s Hamilton who inspired, challenged, and delighted participants across this week-long debate workshop. KQED covered day one of our Summer Debate Institute and got the inside track from the stars tars on how performing and debating share the same skills.Read More
Santalucia Hernandez, best known as Lucia, is a perfect addition to the SVUDL team. Hailing from the South Side of Chicago, Lucia exemplifies the long-term, positive impacts of participating in high school debate programs.
A product of the Chicago public school system, Lucia became a first-generation college student at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. She established the seventeenth chapter of a Latina service-based sorority, Gamma Alpha Omega, where she mentored other first-generation college students and helped host two conferences aimed at addressing and educating students and the Madison community about Latina issues.
Upon completing a B.A. in International Studies and Chicana/Latina Studies, Lucia started her nonprofit career at Gads Hill Center, followed by WES Health System where she ran youth development programs for both organizations.
In June of 2016 she joined the Chicago Debates team where she helped create an engaging debate experience for schools, coaches, and most importantly, youth.
Debate changed the trajectory of Lucia’s life and she is blessed to have the opportunity to shape the Silicon Valley Urban Debate Leagues’ policies and programming, ensuring the next generation has that same experience.
When Lucia is not running tournaments or supporting schools, she loves volunteering and getting together with her family for dinner and games.
In July, SVUDL students and staff attended a workshop at Orrick in Menlo Park, led by SVUDL Board Member and Orrick Partner Ellen Ehrenpreis, Recruiting Manager Michelle Lockhart, Associate Kristina Pham, and a number of summer law associates.
The Orrick team helped SVUDL students begin to build their skills for interviewing. The time and effort spent in this workshop will further prepare the students for upcoming opportunities as they apply to college, scholarships, and ultimately future jobs.
Using an assets-based approach, students learned how to authentically share their personal experiences in order to make themselves stronger candidates and to help them stand out even more to those conducting the interviews.
Each student was able to spend one-on-one time with a summer law associate to dive deeper into what interview situations actually look and feel like, and to practice how the students can best share and communicate their personal stories.
Thank you to the Orrick team for giving their expertise and time. This tremendous effort will bear fruit for years to come!
U.S. Senator from Massachusetts and 2020 Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren shares how debate gave her the foundation to channel her own ambitions in this New York Times article.Read More
Ellen Ehrenpreis has a passion for working with companies making an impact in the world.
A partner in the Silicon Valley office of Orrick, Ellen has devoted substantial time and effort over many years serving on boards of directors and in pivotal roles for nonprofit organizations.
Now she is bringing her dedication to the SVUDL community!
Ellen’s background is a perfect fit for our team. She has spent more than twenty years in the tech and venture ecosystem and leverages her broad network and deep understanding of both the tech sector and legal landscape to effectively and strategically advise emerging companies and investors on a wide range of critical needs. She advises companies and founders on formation, venture financings, governance, M&A transactions, corporate and securities matters, commercial transactions and litigation strategy.
Ellen has represented both private and public companies and has worked with small startups and large multinational enterprises, as well as the executives, investors and advisors involved in those businesses. Ellen also works closely with some of the leading venture capital and growth equity firms, whose principals she advises in connection with financings, equity structuring and corporate governance.
Her clients have included companies in the semiconductor, SAAS, renewables, fintech, aerospace, digital retail, online sharing, biotech/biopharma, media, design and data analytics fields, among others.
Prior to Orrick, Ellen was a member of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and a co-founder of Edgewood Law Partners LLP. Ellen is also a former competitive figure skater, a devoted wife and the mother of three teenage children.
We look forward to collaborating with Ellen to help our students tap the power of their voices to compete, excel and change the world through the rigor and thrill of the academic sport of debate.