No matter what one does in life, the ability to effectively communicate, analyze, and persuade an audience is a useful tool to achieve success.  History is filled with revolutionary leaders and teachers who had experience doing competitive debate at high school age.  

(Click on the banner below to scroll through some of the influential people who debated.)

(In case you couldn't figure it out - Muhatma Ghandi (global teacher of non-violence).  Hillary Clinton (Former Secretary of State - Predidential Candidate), Malcolm X (revolutionary thinker and actor), Ted Cruz (Presidential Candidate), Barbara Jordan (Constitutional Scholar), Justice Scalia (recently deceased member of the Supreme Court), Oprah Winfrey (needs no explanation)

DON't Just take our word For it, see what others have said about the value of debate.

High School Students

Debate is an activity that gives anyone interested in learning, the opportunity to obtain knowledge in both politics and critical arguments. However, on a more personal level, debate is simply something that I love; something that motivates me to do better in school and in life. Besides being with amazing friends at tournaments, debate allows me to express myself and express ideas that I have in mind.
— Lenny Herrera - 11th Grader from New York City
With a pregnant best friend at 13 and gangs controlling many Bronx neighborhoods, I thought it was a matter of time until something would go wrong in my life. Through debate, I decided I wanted to go to college at fifteen, and once I wanted it, passion took over…. Debate proved to be the platform of my education. Not only did it build a confident woman in me, it put me in a setting that allowed me to meet remarkable people that have continued to shape my life for the better.
— Maribel Vaquez - recent Fullbright Scholar Recipient

Famous Leaders

.... once my feet got wet, I was gone on debating. Whichever side of the selected subject was assigned to me, I’d track down and study everything I could find on it. I’d put myself in my opponent’s place and decide how I’d try to win if I had the other side; and then I’d figure a way to knock down those points.”
— Malcolm X
I think debating in high school a most valuable training whether for politics, the law, business, or for service on community committees. A good debater must ....study material ..but also thoroughly analyze the expected arguments of their opponent....The give and take of debating, the testing of ideas, is essential to democracy. I wish we had a good deal more debating in our institutions than we do now.”
—John F. Kennedy