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York International School juniors to debate in New York City for special event

The Mapleton Speech and Debate Team’s voice will be heard on a major stage on Friday, April 14. Alliton S. and Ruby T., team members and juniors at York International School, are traveling to New York City to take part in Mightier, a debate event meant “to foster civil discourse among today's youth.” The event was created through a partnership between the news organization Newsweek and the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL). 

Two debate students smile at a podium

“We were really surprised they chose us to go, but we were excited about it! It sounded like a great opportunity,” said Alliton.  

Alliton and Ruby will join only six other high schoolers from Denver, Washington D.C., and San Jose for live debates in front of Newsweek journalists and executives, at their World Trade Center Headquarters. Those debates, and other moments from the students’ experience, will be used in a mini-series for Newsweek's podcast The Debate 

The students will deliberate on subjects like affirmative action, the use of artificial intelligence in the workplace, and climate optimism. Alliton and Ruby will oppose each other, arguing different viewpoints on immigration reform, a topic they chose because they are both Mexican immigrants.  

Debate students face off

The York duo was chosen to participate in Mightier after being recognized for the quality of writing and preparation of their debate at the Denver I RESOLVE Public Debate, sponsored by NAUDL last October, at Metropolitan State University of Denver. There, they discussed microtargeting, the practice of companies taking and selling people’s personal information to identify their interests to influence their actions through advertising. That wasn’t long after Ruby joined the team, which gave her a lot of confidence and taught her some valuable skills.  

“To be successful in debate, you need to practice so much, understand your weaknesses to improve, and learn how to take in a lot of information,” she said.  

The two have spent plenty of time recently doing just that with their coach to perform their best in New York. We will share more about them and their trip after they return home.  

Good luck, Alliton and Ruby!