The SpeakFirst Debate program enriches the academic experience of talented and motivated students from Birmingham-area middle and high schools through participation in academic debate. As they sharpen their debating skills, students also improve vocabulary, critical thinking, speaking ability, and language and study skills. SpeakFirst uses academic debate as a platform to support these students and guide them on a path toward excellence in college and beyond.
The high school team (consisting of ~20 students) specializes in Public Forum Debate, which focuses on practical and philosophical questions about current domestic and foreign policy issues, and emphasizes the ability to debate and convey arguments about these issues persuasively to a judge. In addition to debate, SpeakFirst provides our high school students one-on-one tutoring and mentoring, college admissions and financial aid guidance, standardized test preparation, cultural educational activities, and summer internships.
Our middle school program engages students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades at eight local middle schools (10-20 students per school) in an extracurricular debate program. Practices for the league are held after school twice weekly in each school and students participate in four citywide tournaments throughout the academic year.
For more information about SpeakFirst, visit impactamerica.com/speakfirst.
Full-time (40 hours per week). Attendance at high school debate practices on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3:30pm to 7:00pm during the academic year (occasional absences allowable). Attendance at debate tournaments on Friday evening and Saturdays (approximately 7-10 weekends during the academic year, some out-of-town/overnight travel required) and one tournament to New Orleans each December (Friday through Sunday). Compensatory days are given to make up for weekend responsibilities.
Please submit a resume and cover letter to Sarah Louise Smith, Executive Director.
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