I have written about the Boston Debate League in the past – how incredibly passionate and dedicated the students are, the impact they are making on kids’ education and academic achievement, how inspired I am by the teachers and coaches who volunteer to mentor the kids through the many debates each semester. But why not write about them one more time? They really are that cool.
Two weeks ago, I got to photograph my first ever High School Debate, featuring all of these great kids from the BDL. The cafeteria at English High School was jammed with kids, many of them nervously looking over their notes and preparing for their competition. I got to wander from classroom to classroom to see them in action; debating issues like transportation, income inequality, the federal defense budget and more. I got to see their brains processing information, strategies, and questions so fast that they would make even a trial lawyer panic.
Then last week, for the second time, I photographed the BDL’s Awards Ceremony where they honor the students, teams, coaches, and schools that are the most accomplished, largest and most improved. A high school senior gave a speech that would give you goose bumps about how she was always the quiet, shy girl in class until she started participating in debate and found her voice. The middle school kids first watched in amazement as the high school kids claimed their awards and then bounded to the stage when their own names were called. And the coaches shepherded their teams in and out of the auditorium – one of them coming to the event with 20 of their students on the T! The energy and commitment is really infectious.
I hope you’ll be interested to learn more about the Boston Debate League and why they rock. And I hope that I can continue working with them and other fabulous Boston nonprofit groups to document their events and achievements into the future.