This year, for the first time, NAUDL is pleased to recognize exceptional debaters who embody the values of the urban debate community. We are pleased to announce the first-ever NAUDL Debater of the Year, Rayvon Dean, a debater with the Detroit Urban Debate League.
Rayvon will be recognized and a featured speaker at the Annual Dinner on April 10, 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC. We also congratulate our six Runners Up and twelve finalists (see the complete list). The Annual Dinner kicks off our Urban Debate National Championship, held April 11-13 at Georgetown University.
“Debate was that one place where I wasn’t afraid to admit that I was smart.”
Rayvon Dean, debates for University Prep High School, a part of the Detroit Urban Debate League. Rayvon joined the debate team during a difficult time in his life. His parents were going through a divorce and debate became a sanctuary for him, away from the problems at home.
|Rayvon and his partner Brooke Kimbaugh celebrate their Berkeley win with coach Sharon Hopkins and friends.|
After he won a few local tournaments, he set his sights on the national circuit. But at his first national circuit tournament he lost every round. He realized then that in order to win he would have to work much harder. He began spending countless hours doing research and developing his arguments. He never missed a local tournament.
Eventually, his hard work paid off. This year he and his partner won the University of California-Berkeley InvitationTournament, qualified for the Tournament of Champions, and qualified for the Urban Debate National Champion-ship for the third time. Rayvon ranks in the top five percent of high school debaters nationwide.
He credits debate with improving his grades, from a C average as a freshman to an A average today. Debate has given him the opportunity to
study political science and business in college. He hopes to become a lawyer.