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Two McLain debate students wear their medals

"I love everything about debate," said McLain High School student Micheyala Miller.

Micheyala started debating in elementary. Now, as a high school junior she has earned many medals and qualified for regionals.

"When I first started out in debate in elementary, I wasn't very good and it took me a long time to understand the material. Now that I am older, I sit down and look into the material so I can understand it and break it down for myself. It helps me in school too because this is something I really like doing."

Participating in debate is a great indicator of student success. According to the Tulsa Debate League, 90% of students in debate graduate on time and 86% enroll in college.

For Micheyala, debate is a way for her to prepare for her dream job.

"I really got into it was because I want to be a lawyer," she said. "I started taking the debate as a baseline because you have to start the bottom before you get to the top."

Terrance Johnson is an 8th grade student at Monroe Demonstration Academy. He said debate is a great experience and he plans to continue it in high school.

"It definitely helps with your reading. I've noticed with me and my other friends. It really helped them a lot," he said.

While it is improving their literacy skills, it also helps students learn to think critically and communicate with others. In preparation for tournaments, they research complex concepts and understand them from multiple perspectives. These skills help Tulsa students be college and career ready when they graduate high school.

Tulsa Debate League is offered at the following schools: