San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley Students Triumph at Texas Star Great Debate
This year’s Texas Star Great Debate, involving nearly 75 students from Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico, culminated with a finals competition yesterday afternoon at Our Lady of the Lake University, dominated by students from San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley.
Mock – Vanessa Quintero of Lopez High School (Brownsville) and Vanessa Rodriguez of Juan Diego Academy (Rio Grande City), from the Inferno team
CX – Alexia Aguerro of Cotulla HS and Carlene Villarreal of Pearsall HS, from the Raza Unida team
Extemp – Alexander Jimenez of St. Mary’s Hall (San Antonio), from the Monstars team
ORATORY – Guadalupe Abrego of PSJA Memorial High School (Alamo, Texas), from the Monstars team
Second place finishers included:
Mock – Adam Rodriguez of Donna North High School (Donna, Texas) and Adriana Acosta of Clark High School (San Antonio), from the WOF Pack team
CX – Rebecca Ramirez and Gabriel Perez of PSJA Memorial High School (Alamo, Texas), from Team SLAY
EXTEMP – Joshua Loya of La Joya High School (Palmview, Texas), from the Monstars team
ORATORY – Omar Martinez from Martin High School (Laredo), from the Raza Unida team
The event was also notable for a visit from Xochitl Yanez from the State Farm Foundation, instrumental in the corporation’s $20,000 sponsorship of NHI. The donation is going toward funding this year’s Great Debate and Collegiate World Series and Great Debate programs, as well as training some of the leaders overseeing this year’s programs.
“I saw students in complete growth mode during this program,” said NHI executive vice president Nicole Sada, who visited the program with Yanez. “Students who started very shy at the outset became open and extroverted by the end of the six-day program. It was an amazing transformation to see.” Sada also noted that Yanez was impressed by seeing the NHI program in action.