Debate changed my life. A kid's perspective.

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Guest Writer Maggie Wyman is a debater and current sixth grader. Maggie participated in DebateAble Clubs in 2015-2017, when she won a Tournament Team Award. She wrote about her experience in a school memoir assignment. We're honored that she's allowed us to share an excerpt of that piece with you.

There are all different kinds of tournaments; basketball, baseball, tennis, swimming, spelling, hockey, football, running, slalom, ping pong, ballet or gymnastics. But when I hear the word "tournament" I think of debate.

When I am debating, I learn so much about the topic and how to look from a different side of an argument. I believe that my teammates are always counting on me and that I am really part of a team. I now realize that debate has changed my life.

I know that without debate I would not look at the world around me like I do now. Debate has so many benefits: it helps you to speak in front of a group of people, learn how to look at two sides of an argument, it shows how to really grab what other people are talking about, think on your feet, keep your emotions in check, and will (surprising) increase your self confidence.

Debate is more about the team than the win, although debate is very competitive. In debate your team is like your family, you have this special bond with them that makes you a perfect team. I believe that my teammates are always counting on me and that I am part of that team. Everyone has their ups and downs. You know it, I know it. In debate, I feel that your team is there for you even when it gets really hard for you. This is why I love debate. Although in debate you need a lot of focus, your team will always encourage you to keep going.

Experiences can teach people different things. Debate taught me a lot. I am very thankful for my debate teacher Melanie and my dad for helping me debate. I also am very thankful for my wonderful teammates for making this happen. Debate has changed my life.

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