IMMOKALEE -- On Saturday, Dec. 9, students from Collier, Glades, Hendry and Manatee counties competed at Incubate Debate’s second regional competition of the 2023-2024 school year. At the competition, held at Immokalee High School, middle and high school students debated the merits of a federal carbon tax, a potential TikTok ban, and whether or not the United States should reinstate the “Remain In Mexico” policy.
Commissioners, professors, and former high school debaters evaluated students not only in their ability to give a speech but also in their civility and aptitude for respectful disagreement. Incubate Program Manager Yurit Santos described Saturday’s final round as “The most competitive debate I’ve seen. Our competitors were smart, engaging and civil as they debated ‘Remain in Mexico’ in the final round.”
A special congratulations to Sophia Christodoulou of Ad Astra Naples who won the final round of the 2nd Incubate Debate competition of the 2023-2024 season! Sophia argued in favor of reinstating the “Remain in Mexico” policy, arguing that the policy would stop the balloon of the US people from popping.
Caroline Klepko (Ad Astra Naples), who placed second, argued in favor of reinstating the “Remain in Mexico” policy, arguing that the policy would not only protect the American people, but also play its intended role as a protection plan for migrants truly seeking asylum.
Jadzia Hernandez (Immokalee High School), who won third, argued against reinstating the “Remain in Mexico” policy; telling us that if we truly support life and liberty this policy shouldn’t stand!
We would also like to recognize Miley Castellon from Clewiston High School, Veronica Barble from Ad Astra Naples, and Allyson Lara of Moore Haven Jr/Sr High who were awarded our E. M. Hemingway Nobility Award, a distinction named in honor of Ernest Hemingway and his profound quote: “There is no true nobility in being better than your fellow man, true nobility is being better than your former self.” The E. M. Hemingway Nobility Award is awarded to the students who demonstrate the most personal growth throughout the competition.
For their spectacular performance on Saturday, Sofia Christodoulou and her sponsor were each awarded a $500 scholarship to put toward their future endeavors.
If students or schools are interested in participating in Incubate Debate, the next competition is Saturday, Jan. 27, at Immokalee High School. Students will be debating the benefits of the International Monetary Fund, daylight savings time, and the choice made to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. Students or schools can learn more at IncubateDebate.org.