Youth Voice Week: Meet the MNUDL Student Leadership Team

Celebrating Youth Voice!

To celebrate Youth Voice Week, we wanted to give a shout out to our excellent Student Leadership Team members.

The Student Leadership Team is a student-run board, developed to improve MNUDL programming, provide leadership opportunities for our students, and further incorporate student voice into our organizational structure, while also promoting an agenda of youth agency and empowerment. Since the board was launched in September, we’ve already seen these members put their ideas into action:

Redesigning the MSHSL debate season opener:

Traditionally, our season opener, the Minnesota Debate Teachers Association (MDTA) Jamboree, has hands-on engagement opportunities, like a demonstration debate and workship, for novice debaters. Opportunities like this foster a sense of camaraderie and support with the chance to work and learn with peers from across the metro area. Next year, the SLT will be running the event! Their goal is to incorporate more of these learning, collaborative experiences for JV and Varsity debaters.

Planning next MSHSL season’s community building activities:

Over the last 2 years, we have incorporated fun activities into our tournaments that encourage debaters to work together outside their teams, such as Scavenger Hunts, Themed Dress Up days, and Get to Know You Bingo. Next season, the SLT will be in charge of designing and implementing the activities. We’re sure it will be the best season yet!

Volunteering at Middle School Debate Tournaments:

The SLT has also committed to being volunteer judges and recruiting other members of their HS debate teams to volunteer as well. Judging is a great way for our HS debaters to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at tournaments, get experience in an educator role, and be mentors to our MS students.

Most recently, our board started an initiative to facilitate local caterers at tournaments and plans to lead community building activities at our MSHSL summer debate camp.

Thank you for everything you do, Audrey, Ani, Lillie, Rey, and our newest members, Haven and Sofia! We are excited to see your projects implemented in the coming months!

Meet the Team!

Sofia Portrait

Sofia from Minneapolis South HS

Sofia is a junior at South High School. She’s been debating for two years, and has recently started coaching for Anne Sullivan Middle School, and volunteering to judge tournaments. When shes not debating she likes to read, play piano, make gouache paintings, bake bread, and mountain bike.

Haven, Washburn

Haven from Washburn HS

Haven is a sophomore at Washburn High School, and beyond debating on his high school’s team, coaches at Justice Page Middle School.

Rey Siasoco portrait

Rey from Edison HS

Rey Siasoco is currently a senior at Thomas Edison High School. He has been debating with the MNUDL since 6th grade. He plans to study political science in college, and pursue politics.

Portrait, Ani McQuillen

Ani from Roosevelt HS

Ani McQuillen is a junior on the Roosevelt High School debate team. This is her 3rd year participating in MSHSL debate and Debate en Español. Besides debate, she loves mountain biking, Nordic skiing, and songwriting.

Lillie, Tartan HS

Lillie from Tartan High School

Lillie Perez is a junior at Tartan Senior High School. This is her third year debating, and she appreciates that debate is a place she can engage in highly academic discussions. Lillie also loves the community she’s found in debate who pushes her to learn from her losses as much as her wins.

Audrey Snowbeck, Highland

Audrey from Highland Park

Audrey Snowbeck is a senior at Highland Park Senior High School and has been debating since middle school. She also coaches for the Highland Park Middle School debate team.

Are you interested in joining next year’s Student Leadership Team? Reach out to your coach for more information!