Roseville debate team poses with trophy

We want to say a huge thank you to our newest grant partner, First Bank & Trust! They provided $1,000 to support the debate teams at Roseville Area Schools- a new suburban partner.

Support across the community makes our tournaments, like last weekend’s Roseville Rosebowl, possible! At the tournament, students dressed up in their best Halloween costumes and completed 5 intense rounds of debate on this year’s topic: water resources. Roseville varsity debater, Michael O’Neil (pictured), earned the division’s top speaker award! This award is given to students who earn the highest number of speaker points, which are given to reward an individual student’s public speaking, analysis, and argumentation skills.

Jim Basten, Market President at First Bank & Trust, tells us:

“At First Bank & Trust, we believe the communities we serve have contributed directly to the success of our business and our families. We are always looking for ways to give back to those communities. This opportunity to support the Minnesota Urban Debate League fit directly with our Community Fund mission to encourage youth development through elevating the level of educational, cultural, and athletic programs in the community. We’re excited to see the Debate League get started in Roseville and all that it means for youth in the community.”


With First Bank & Trust’s support, we look forward to seeing what Roseville Area High School’s policy debate team accomplishes this fall, and beginning middle school and community topic programming in the spring!

Is your organization interested in sponsoring our winning debate programs? Sponsor the 9th annual Mayors Challenge before November 16th, or contact Amy Cram Helwich at to learn more about how to provide organizational support all year long.