Congrats Grads

It’s been another challenging year of doing virtual school throughout the pandemic, but our students finished strong. They’ve demonstrated hope and resilience in the face of a tumultuous year.

Five of our program’s graduates are sharing their future plans with you. Let’s send them our best wishes as they set out on their next step.

Gabe Chang Deutsch – Minneapolis South High School ’21

Gabe Chang Deutsch Portrait

Gabe Chang-Deutsch participated in national topic policy debate in both middle school and high school. Gabe was a two-time MSHSL State Debate Champion.

Plans after Graduation: Attending Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH in the fall.

Reflection on Debate:

My time in debate has taught me the importance of listening to others’ ideas and being open to being wrong, which is a skill that has made me a better learner and helped me refine my morals.


Sebastian Helgeson – Roseville Area High School ’21

Sebastian Helgeson Portrait

Sebastian Helgeson participated in MDAW Summer Speech & Debate Camp and competed in national topic policy debate at Roseville Area High School.

Plans after Graduation: Attending the University of Minnesota Twin Cities: College of Science and Engineering for a double major in Computer Science and Mathematics.

Reflection on Debate:

I love the debate community and all the people I met in debate. It was nice to know that even in a tough, competitive round, my room was filled with good friends and helpful judges.

Senior Quote:

“At times the world may seem like an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.” – Lemony Snicket


Eh Ku Paw – Humboldt Senior High School ’21

Eh Ku Paw portrait

Eh Ku Paw competed in national topic policy debate at Humboldt Senior High School.

Plans After Graduation: Moving back to Texas and going to Rillo College.

Senior Quote:

“And finally, no more stress in this chapter of my life.”


Isabel Kleckner – Minneapolis South High School ’21


Isabel Kleckner Portrait

Isabel participated in national topic policy debate at Washburn High School and South High School, coached at Justice Page Middle School, and was a frequent volunteer judge. Isabel was the 2019 Middle School Student Coach of the Year.

Plans After Graduation: Attending Drake University to major in Secondary Ed, with a goal of self-designed minor/major in ASL/Deaf studies

Senior Quote:

“Wheat Sleep Debate”

Mason Rounds – Washington Technology Magnet School ’21

Mason Rounds Portrait

Mason Rounds competed in national topic policy debate at Washington Technology Magnet School, assisted with coaching at Wash Tech’s middle school branch, was a frequent volunteer judge.

Plans After Graduation: Attending college, currently interested in studying environmental science and English.

Reflection on Debate:

One thing I’d like to share about my time in debate is the importance of balancing competition with collaboration and education. Competing in debate is awesome, but it can be just as satisfying to use debate to broaden your understanding of the world and learn about what interests you!

Connect more excellent scholars like these with opportunities to debate. Give a one-time gift to celebrate our graduates, or become an Advocate for Debate with a monthly gift today.