Why I Debate

Parent Testimonials


Our son benefited tremendous from the debate program.  It helped him gain confidence, become a critical thinker, developed his research skills and interests in learning multi disciplinary subjects.  He was also able to get into a leadership position at his middle and high school debate club.  Eventually, this helped him become a strong candidate for colleges, getting admission offers from multiple Ivy League colleges.  He continued to use his skills in his college at Princeton University - Manoj Daga
. I judged my first debate tournament this past Saturday. It was one of my most enjoyable life experiences. I look forward to more tournaments. The students were awesome. I'm so glad I had this opportunity. Elaine G. 
"I am very happy to let you know that my child has been with you since his third grade. Debate helped him to do exceptionally well in academics in his elementary and middle school years!! I thank you for your awesome support." (Graduated middle school with the highest academic average of 103.24% and is now attending Bronx Science)


The event was a part of a partnership between the Education Department’s Middle School Quality Initiative and the New York City Urban Debate League. The competition was already a winner with IN-Tech’s parents and students as they said the skills their children learned from the extracurricular activity boosted their grades, self-confidence and social skills. “I’ve already seen the difference between elementary school and middle school and how much he’s already progressed,” said Diana Hernandez, whose son Jordan, a sixth-grader, joined the team this fall. “He was very shy in elementary school and now he’s more outgoing. He’s more [willing] to actually doing public speaking, which he never liked doing at all. He’s very excited and he’s very proud to be on the debate team.” Rosanna Mella, whose daughter Kamilah was also debating for the first time, like Jordan, said she was “very excited and proud.” Being part of the debate team has inspired Kamilah to become more interested in academics and to enjoy the reading and research that goes along with preparing for competition, Ms. Mella added. Before the club, Kamilah was primarily interested in the arts, and now her interests have expanded to science and technology, Ms. Mella said.  (http://www.riverdalepress.com/stories/Debates-help-students-improve-skills,61282, https://debate.prezly.com/debates-help-students-improve-skills)

"NYC UDL community! Spent the weekend at Yale with a single team of 2 young debaters. I was worried that they would be all alone, but all our friends from the NYC UDL community took them in. Erik & Aubrey, you’ve not only made debate accessible to all but also created a place where a large group of diverse young people can come together as one strong community! So proud to be part of this amazing organization!"

As I sit here and read so many uninformed posts, I think (so many things, but let’s stick with the positive for now)…I am so grateful my kids spent the week at the New York City Urban Debate League. They, along with hundreds of other debaters this summer, are learning how to examine an issue from both sides, to make cogent arguments, cite evidence and most importantly care and engage in conversations that determine the course of our democracy. I have high hopes for the next generation to fix our problems, but a sincere wish that we get there before that so they can grow up in the world that they deserve. Many thanks to the NYCUDL for creating such an amazing program and all our friends in the debate community!


My daughter’s team won the title for Novice Middle School Parliamentary Debates.  She told me that after the last debate, she is confident and skillful enough to pass any state test.


I'm overwhelmed with the skills my son has learned at debate camp and during the UDL season. Debate has challenged him to look at complex issues from every angle and developed his critical thinking skills as well as his ability to articulate his thoughts and arguments and back them up with factual evidence. I'm a huge fan of the NYCUDL!
During summer debate camp, I was able to witness my daughter, Isis Glover, grow in her communication and social skills.
My daughter Nicole, truly benefited from this program. She is more confident and learned a lot about tactical strategies that she is eager to use and apply at her debate club this upcoming school year. Her ability to understand the importance of perspectives, opinions, and facts has helped her to look at things in a more neutral place. I would definitely recommend this program to other children and parents.
My daughter was a newcomer to debate. The coaches and advisors were fantastic. She loved the experience and at the end of the two week camp she decided to start a debate club at her school in the fall.
My son participated in Harlem Debate Institute through HEAF and had an awesome experience. Each day he came home eager to share the knowledge he gained and the info and tools he learned about debating. He said it was a fun filled experience and is looking forward ro participating again next year. Thank you HDI for an amazing debate experience and for your amazing staff. Toni and son Jaylen
My daughter experienced the joy, power, and satisfaction of making a convincing heart-felt argument publicly—of listening and being heard—I truly believe this will change her life! (Anonymous)
This was an eye opening experience for my son honestly and I am thankful
During summer debate camp, I was able to witness my daughter, Isis Glover, grow in her communication and social skills.
Thank you for a wonderful week. My child, who was hesitant to try it for the first time, walked out at the end of the week feeling enlightened, engaged and proud. The counselors were encouraging and the topics were relevant to the issues of today. Thank you so much for the opportunity and we hope to return next year.