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Great Debate, NHI Programs

Biggest Northeast Great Debate Ever is a Success

Posted: August 3, 2016 at 10:59 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

Last week, nearly 200 students from across the nation and throughout the hemisphere, including a 78 strong contingent from Panama (more than the entire U.S. group), 26 students from Mexico, and 20 more from the Dominican Republic, converged on Villanova University for the 2016 edition of the Northeast Great Debate.

“NHI was a great experience that made me discover a side of myself I never had never seen,” said first place Oratory winner Natalia Cassino, one of the students who traveled from Panama City to Philadelphia. “Going to this trip was one of the best decisions I could’ve made, I learned to believe in myself and made friendships that will last a lifetime.”

“Aprendí que cada voz cuenta, que no importa si esa persona no tiene los recursos y la mejor educación, su voz siempre será escuchada,” added Jose Simpson. “A la par aprendí que no solo la comunidad latina tiene problemas, sino el mundo entero, y como la raza humana que somos, la discriminación y el racismo deben ser dejados de lado para poder convivir y hacer progresar este mundo.”

The participants were grouped into 12 teams, with PUMD emerging as the winners. Individual winners included:

Cross Examination
First Place: Rancel Fermin, New York, NY; Mathew Landeros, Harlingen, Texas
Second Place: Juan Carlos Nuñez, Queretaro, Mexico; Marina Ghringhelli, Queretaro, Mexico;
All State: Robert Gonzalez, Pequannock, New Jersey; Isaiah Franco, Newtown, Pennsylvania

Mock Trial
First Place: Susana Fraga, Panama City, Panama; Kristian Olvera, New York, NY
Second Place: Eve Hurwitz, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Jean Albino, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
All State: Julia Quansah (Mock Attorney), Bronx, New York; Ariss Cosino (Mock Witness), Alamo, Texas

First Place: Gabriela Frias, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Second Place: Moises Pirro, Panama City, Panama
All State: Lizmarie Chavez, Panama City, Panama

First Place: Natalia Cassino, Panama City, Panama
Second Place: Juan Carlos Franch, Torreon, Mexico
All State: Natasha Reyes, El Paso, Texas

As is typical of NHI programs, the importance is not necessarily in what’s won but what’s learned along the way.

“I learned that I’m actually capable of a lot and that i have a lot of potential,” Abigail Caters from Allentown, Penn. said. “I learned to start having confidence in myself because I can achieve great things. I learned to never say no to an opportunity because you will never know how much it will shape you as a person. I learned to reach out and meet people because those people will become family. I learned that you can learn how to love a group of people in a couple days. NHI has shaped me into a person I am proud to be.”

“NHI taught me that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable . . . because that is how you grow as a person,” said Megan Mangines from Boca Raton, Florida. “Before this experience, I was unsure and skeptical that it would truly leave an impact on me. But, I was wrong, so wrong. It has helped me do things that I didn’t know I could do before & experience things I would have never experienced if I didn’t do NHI. The best part for me though wasn’t debating or doing public speaking, though that was great too. The best part was seeing myself and those around me changed for the better, and finally realizing we can actually change the world, so let’s go leave our mark.”

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  • August 3, 2016 at 3:31 pm Maria herrera

    Muy buen trabajo. Los jóvenes reciben una buena esperiencia en eso dias.y es un gran adelanto para su vida.muchas gracias y muchas bendiciones