Hi Bleacher Nation!
First of all, I would like to thank Brett for giving me permission to post this.
I recently quit my internship out in Maryland and moved back to Michigan to help a very dedicated individual in starting up an Urban Debate League in Kalamazoo. I did intercollegiate debate, but didn't have the opportunity in High School because they cut the program in the 90s due to budget constraints. In fact, there is only one program that remains in all of Southwest Michigan. We aim to rectify that in creating a debate league that allows schools to participate while keeping costs low.
Those of you who grew up in the Chicago Metro area might have gone to a High School with a debate program, where it is still wildly popular. In fact, some of the most successful programs in the country including the Glenbrooks (North and South), New Trier, Oak Park/River Forest, Niles, Whitney Young, and University of Chicago Lab Schools all sent teams to the most prestigious tournament in the country while none came from Michigan. The last two listed, Whitney Young and UC Lab, are members of the Chicago UDL. A peer reviewed academic study showed that participants in the Chicago UDL had a higher GPA, test scores, and were more likely to graduate than their peers. Having worked previously with the NYC UDL in college, I've seen kids from bleak economic backgrounds earn scholarships to schools like Harvard, Dartmouth, Fordham, and others that they would have been unable to afford on their own due to their success in debate.
We have recently launched our fundraising campaign, and this is where you come in. We are a certified 501c3 Nonprofit and all donations are tax deductible. If this isn't enough to convince you to donate, donors of over $1,000 are allowed to create an award of any type (appropriate for High School students) to be given at the end of the debate season. If Bleacher Nation can collectively raise over $1,000, I will allow y'all to create a special award like the "Die hard fan club award for belly fire" or the "Dick Tidrow award for excellence in relief" given to the best 2nd affirmative speaker (the person who gives the last speech in the round--thus the closer). In order for this to count, please include a #bleachernation hashtag in your comments when you donate so I can keep track.
Here is the link to donate:
Every donation counts! Thanks in advance.