Fish & Richardson and New York City Urban Debate League Announce Winners of Middle School Debate City Championships

New York, NY, May 9, 2014 - Fish & Richardson is proud to announce the winners of the New York City Middle School Debate Championships, held from May 2-5, 2014 in partnership with the New York City Urban Debate League (NYCUDL). Fish & Richardson was the sole sponsor of the Middle School Debate Championships.

At this year's City Championships, over 150 debaters from all five boroughs of New York, representing over 20 different middle schools citywide, participated in various forms of debate. Winners in the Public Forum Debate Division were Walter Elliot and Aiden Peleg (Beginners) from the Institute for Collaborative Education and Amala Karri and Maria Tollock (Advanced) from Hunter Middle School. Co-champions in the Parliamentary Debate Division were two teams of students from Hunter Middle School: Andrew Conkey, Emily Foy, and Roman Hall; and Alexandra Bradu, Omar Essa, and Carlos Wilcox. Nate Harnowy of the Institute for Collaborative Education won in the Policy Debate Division (Advanced) and the Storytelling winner was Herbert Espinal from Public School 161.

NYCUDL is New York City's only debate league open to all students of all ages attending any school in the five boroughs. All programs are offered year round and are free for all Title I low income public schools. Currently, over 1,000 students from over 100 schools citywide are involved in debate. Since its founding, over 4,000 New York City students have participated in the program, and every year over 95 percent of its graduating seniors go on to college, many with full or partial scholarships.

"The Middle School Debate City Championships are a chance for some very young debaters to move up to the next level of competition," said Erik Fogel, executive director of NYCUDL. "It's exciting to see them improve their skills and gain greater confidence from the experience. We are so grateful to Fish for both their financial support and for serving as volunteer judges. Their partnership is what makes the competition possible."

"The enthusiasm and skill of the student debaters at the City Championships was very impressive," said Michael Autuoro, a principal in Fish's New York office. "We are honored to support this unique debate program that benefits New York City public school students in so many aspects of their lives. At Fish, we have seen that great debaters make great lawyers, and we hope some of these students will be inspired to consider a career in law."

The New York City Urban Debate League (NYCUDL) is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 with a mission to provide the best speech and debate education opportunities to prepare students for college, career, community, and civic success. Each year, NYCUDL debaters are ranked among the top in the nation. NYCUDL has been honored as one of the nation’s top after school programs by the White House, National Endowment for the Arts, National Council for the Humanities, National Institute, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities.