DreamYard Prep Debate Team Represents at Harvard

Last year, a group of ambitious students set out to form DreamYard Prep High School’s first ever Debate Team. Since then, the team has climbed the ranks of the NYC High School Division and has been named as the second best team in the city. With your support, they have been able to compete against some of the top teams in the country and world!

In the words of their debate teacher, Jonathan Spratley: "They have poured countless hours of their own time into researching, writing, and arguing the monthly topics…it has been truly special to witness how debate has fostered their passion for politics and developed their ability to compellingly advocate for their beliefs.”

In January, the team competed at Brooklyn Tech on the resolution: Spain should grant Catalonia independence. They prepared thoughtful arguments and did an incredible job delivering them against the city's top teams. Four students won speaker awards in their respective divisions. 

Their success has not gone unnoticed, and they were invited to compete at the 44th Annual Harvard Forensics Tournament against the top 300 boarding, private, and public school teams from around the U.S. and the world, including teams from China, Canada, England, and 39 states. We are proud to share that at the Harvard competition:  

  •  Carlos & Diana won five of their six rounds, tied for 5th-place overall (out of 300 schools), qualified for the elimination rounds, and finished as the top team from New York State. 
  •  Nicandra & Zainabou won four of their six rounds, tied for 34th-place overall and only missed qualifying for the elimination rounds due to a tie-breaker. 

Many thanks to teacher Jonathan Spratley and the pioneering students of the DreamYard Prep Debate Team for representing our community with such magnificence and esteem. We also want to thank our supporters for making this trip possible, and will leave you with the following words from Debate team members Carlos, Diana, Nicandra, and Zainabou, provided upon their return from Harvard: “We had a phenomenal experience, despite how nervous we were at the beginning. The experience of competing against and beating the best teams from around the world is one that will stick with us forever.”

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