This year over 1500 Chicago Public School students from 59 high schools and 14 middle schools from across the City of Chicago will compete in academic debates. The students’ contests are characterized by evidence-based argumentation, detailed policy analysis and direct refutation of their opponents’ policy positions. Debaters spend an average of 440 hours of out-of-school time researching and reading source materials to gather evidence. Their topics are complex and include issues such as transportation infrastructure, military policy and poverty.
Emmitt Bowles, a former high school debate and current insurance and retirement company owner at Bowles and Bowles Insurance, serves as a volunteer judge and coach for the Chicago Debate League (CDL). Emmitt says that he utilizes the skills he learned while debating in his personal and professional every day and he feels that his experience as a volunteer helps him to provide opportunities to students that would otherwise have been unavailable.
“Our students have big dreams. Nothing gives me more joy than hearing a student vocalize their dreams and aspirations. To play a small role in helping these students realize the potential and greatness that they have within themselves is both a humbling and good learning experience” said Emmitt.
Clinton McClure, who currently volunteers as a judge CDL judge, promotes that the opportunity gives him a chance to help debaters hone their craft just as debate helped him in high school.
“Whether I work by day designing improvements for transportation systems as a civil engineer, or critique speeches as a judge, I value the opportunity to help make connections so that people can move to new and better places,” Clinton said.
The Chicago Debate Commission (CDC) is the non-profit private partner to Chicago Public Schools in the administration of the Chicago Debate League. The CDC has been helping transform the lives of public school students in Chicago since 1995.
To become a volunteer judge or coach visit The Chicago Debate Commission profile on One Good Deed Chicago’s website http://bit.ly/xp7g98.