Texas Star Great Debate, at Schreiner, launches new generation of leaders
For the first time ever, Schreiner University is hosting the National Hispanic Institute’s Texas Star Great Debate, and its present addressed the gathering of students in an Opening Ceremonies address showing, in part, how Schreiner’s ideals fit well with NHI’s.
“About a year ago, we began having conversations with NHI about hosting this Great Debate program. And very quickly, we got excited about this possibility,” said Dr. Charlie McCormick, Schreiner University president, addressing the students at the 2018 edition of the event. “The reason why is because we think it aligns so closely with our mission statement . . . which says we intend to prepare students for meaningful work, and purposeful lives, and changing local society. That means that we’re intending our students to be extraordinarily confident and capable when entering their chosen careers.”
McCormick expressed a feeling that students would learn skills translatable to their careers, but noted, as NHI does, that it’s important to “do more than serve as effective workers” and “be engaged and lead in their communities.” He noted that “managing difficult dialogues and being able to listen deeply — those are the skills that will enable you to be leaders.”
Cristina Kiefaber, from Incarnate Word High School in San Antonio, said, “I’m definitely expecting to get more comfortable in front of crowds speaking. I’m also looking to make a ton of new friends — especially friends from outside of San Antonio. At first, I was extremely nervous, but decided to try to get out of my comfort zone, and after the first day, I’m extremely excited to partake in this competition. I think it will be an excellent opportunity to expand my horizons.”
Raul Ramos, from J.W. Nixon High School in Laredo, said, “I expect to get a little bit better at public speaking, I expect to get better at public speaking, and I want to start looking at different people’s perspectives from different parts of Texas and around the United States. I want to start looking at things in a broader spectrum.” Like Keifaber, Ramos started nervous. “I realized I was coming into a totally alien setting. But now that I’ve finished the first day, I’m starting to feel a little more ready for it, and a lot more excited for this event.”
Analysse Escobar, one of the Texas Star Great Debate education directors, said, “At any NHI program, we’re constantly wanting to see the students who participate grow and learn from each other, from their coaches, and all the staff. In addition to seeing our seeing these students grow, we want to inspire them to learn on their own, to be self-learners, and to be really engaged and involved in that process of learning.”
She added, “We’re really excited; the students here are really engaged and really intellectual. I’m excited to see the rest of the tournament unfold and hear some more of their opinions.”
The 2018 Texas Star Great Debate is presented in part by State Farm.