Benefits of Debate Education - benefits of debate education
Kaitlin Alexander
March 26, 2024

Benefits of Debate Education


Embarking on the journey of debate is akin to stepping onto a path of self-discovery and academic excellence. At North Broward Preparatory School, debate is not just an extracurricular activity but a dynamic community where students hone their skills, forge lifelong connections, and grow as leaders. Here is a glimpse of the critical skills and experiences that make debate an unparalleled personal and intellectual growth platform. 

Dedicated Faculty and a comprehensive program

Meet Shree Awsare, the driving force behind North Broward's debate program, guiding students through rigorous training and mentorship. Awsare has worked at North Broward for eight years as the director of forensics teacher and speech and debate coach. He attended Columbia University for undergrad and Georgetown Law school, practicing law for many years with the Department of Justice, before he became a teacher. 


Our speech and debate team compete in tournaments across the country. The students have access to liaisons with college recruiters and debate teams. Students can choose from two debate tracks. Each offers a program focused on tournament success and elective courses designed to nurture beginners' public speaking skills. The debate program continues to attract our brightest students. Here are some of the fundamentals and student testimonials from the program.  

Development of Critical Skills 

Speech and debate are a wonderful place to learn the fundamentals of public speaking, argumentation, researching, and communication skills.

In an age of information overload, research skills are important to shift through sources, decide if you agree or disagree with the information, and frame arguments coherently. It helps you understand humanity more deeply. While learning these important fundamentals, debate empowers students to find their voice and engage in civil discourse, fostering confidence, critical thinking, and effective communication. For that reason, Broward County Public Schools, Debate Initiative opens a partnership between community businesses and local public school debate programs to help mandate speech and debate electives in public schools, thus ensuring all students have access to this transformative experience. The county realizes the importance for students learning research skills, logic, organization of ideas, manipulation of language, assessment of audience, self-esteem, and engagement in world events. These skills not only build better students, but they also build better college candidates, better employees, and better citizens. Approximately 15,000 students are now participating in debate in the district.  


Empowering Students through Debate

Awsare shares that once you learn these important skills and join debate, it feels more like a sports team. “If you commit to the program, put in the work, and attend tournaments, you find an outlet where you can be competitive and grow friendships with your peers, like any team.” Whether you want to be a member of the team or start an elective course, there are many options to participate and learn the art of public speaking, public forums, and policy.  

broward debate

The Debate Experience

International Baccalaureate Seniors, Zachary Apel and Jayden Bodet, share the transformative impact of debate on their lives and academic pursuits. Both share insights into the intensive preparation process, where students work collaboratively, research meticulously, and refine their argumentation skills to excel in competitions. 

Public forum debater Zachary Apel came to North Broward for high school. Zach's dad encouraged him to join the speech and debate team. Zach shares that this style of debate is very technical and focused on persuasion. Zach and his teammate, Payton Shen, debate together and are currently ranked number nine in the country. Most notably winning second place in the Sunvitational at Nova Southern University and the Elite Eight Barkley Forum at Emory University, which are some of the top competitions in the country.  

After graduation, Zach will attend Duke University and study economics. He is excited to attend the university because it has a little bit of everything: strong academics and sports. Zach hopes to continue his involvement in debate by coaching high school teams.  


Policy debater Jayden Bodet shares his style, which is the most intense form of debate. The rounds are normally two hours long and require technical proficiency and the ability to speak at 300 words per minute. In-depth research is required for the year-long debate topic. Jayden and teammate Pairie Koh won the Sweet 16 of the Southern Bell Forum and the Elite 8 of the Harvard Debate Tournament, which are some of the top competitions in the country. Ranking number twenty-five in the country.  

“Debate for me, has been a paradise of sorts, where memories are made and time melts away. For the last four years, I have been an avid member of my school’s policy debate team. At our meetings, we arm ourselves with arguments and prepare for battle for our weekend-long tournaments. We have fun as we reminisce on our trips together, tell debate jokes no one else would get, and brainstorm innovative ideas.”  

Jayden plans to attend the University of Michigan next year to study business.  



Preparation for College and Beyond

Outside of developing your confidence and public speaking skills, an important note about debate is that it enhances college admissions prospects, opening doors to prestigious universities and scholarship opportunities worldwide. North Broward debaters have attended the best universities in the world, including Stanford, Harvard, and Brown. 


As we celebrate the achievements of students like Zachary and Jayden, we recognize that debate is more than just a competition; it is a transformative journey that shapes future leaders and thinkers. Through dedicated faculty, comprehensive programs, and unwavering commitment, North Broward's debate community inspires excellence, fosters growth, and empowers students to reach new heights. Join us on this journey of discovery and achievement, where every argument is an opportunity and every speech is a step towards greatness.