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High School Debaters from the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues Visit Treasury

United States Department of the Treasury

Earlier this week, a group of high school students representing debate teams from across the country met with Secretary Lew during a visit to Washington, D.C. The students are part of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL), a non-profit organization that prepares low-income students of color to succeed in college and in their future careers by supporting competitive debate teams at urban public schools. 


The students that came to the Treasury building this week were among the top debaters at the 2013 Urban Debate Championship Tournament. Secretary Lew congratulated the students for their hard-earned success, and he told them he was a “would be” debater – that is, if his high school had had a debate program he would have joined the team just like they did. He spoke about the skills debate builds – critical thinking, communication, collaboration – and how important those skills are to the day-to-day work of public policy and public service. The debaters told the Secretary about the recent topics they have tackled, including the benefits of infrastructure investments and the issues surrounding economic engagement with Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela. They also asked Secretary Lew about his responsibilities at the Treasury department. 


While in Washington D.C., the debaters visited the White House and met with President Obama, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.


Victoria Suarez-Palomo is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Business and Public Liaison at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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About The New York City Urban Debate League

Our mission is that every school should have a debate team and every student should have the opportunity to the best debate education opportunities. One of the most critical problems in education today is the academic and civic achievement gaps. Our solution is to provide the best college, career, civic, communication and community opportunities through year round academic debate. Each month we work with thousands of students and hundreds of schools. We support debate practices every day, debate centers every week, tournaments every weekend, workshops every month, debate camps all summer, and year round support for any student and teacher. We are one of the the city’s most award winning curricular and extracurricular programs. We have received awards from the White House, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Presidential Commission on the Arts and Humanities, National Institute for Museum and Library Services, The Social Index of Top 100 Nonprofits, BoardSource, Points of Light’s Civic Accelerator, Teach for America, and by the First Lady as “one of the top arts and humanities based programs in the country.” Why Debate? Debate teaches every academic skill and every academic subject. A Great Debater means a person who has the skills and confidence to lead, to speak up, to argue, to question, to read and write to right the wrongs, to know about the world around you, and to change the world around you.

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