"Work Hard, Improve, Aim to Win"

Congratulations to our East African Debate students for another great year of debate! This year, students debated the benefits and drawbacks of attending a culturally-specific school versus learning in an integrated setting.

Led by Coach Kadra Maalin, Justice Page Middle School’s team had a strong season, taking the top speaker and runner-up speaker award, as well as the runner-up team award, at our final tournament!

In debate, the medals matter- but the value of the activity goes far beyond victories and defeats. Learn why these three 8th grade students, Dahabo Sharif, Hibak Abdi, and Maisa Ismal, love East African Debate.

What do you like most about debate? Why?

Hibak: Something I like about debate is the part where we’re in the debate, because it’s the main thing I have practiced. In debating, I can show my work.

Dahabo: The readings were really interesting and fun to learn about.

What’s the most challenging part about debate? How do you overcome it?

Hibak: The most challenging part of debating is trying to focus on what the judges are saying. I overcome it by asking them to repeat themselves.

Dahabo: The rules and starting debate was hard. But after you get feedback, it gets easier and more fun.

Maisa: When you’re competing against everyone, it scares you thinking you won’t win. But I overcame it by saying to myself, “No matter how scary it is, you tried your best.”

What is something you learned through debate?

Hibak: I learned that people make mistakes in debate, and it’s totally fine.

Dahabo: I learned that if you lose, it does not mean you did bad. It just mean you need to improve.

Maisa: Not everything is about winning. It’s about trying.

What are your hopes and goals for debate?

Hibak: I hope that I can continue debating when I get into high school. My goal is to improve myself through the feedback of the judge.

Dahabo: My goal is to get better and win every debate we do!

Maisa: Just to get better every time!

What do you think more people should know about debate?

Hibak: Debating is an activity where you can speak your opinion and convince others about your idea.

Dahabo: It gives you a chance to learn about important stuff, but makes it fun.

Maisa: Debate’s hard, but it’s fun. You’ll like it when you get used to it.

What would you like more people to know about you?

Hibak: When I grow up, I would like to look back at my middle/high school years of debating and know that I did that, and I’m proud of myself for working hard.

Dahabo: I’m a hard worker and I aim to win.

Maisa: I’m a competitive person once you get to know me!