RGV Squad Triumphs at Texas Ambassador Great Debate
In the last of the 2016 Great Debate events involving Texas students, the team representing the Rio Grande Valley won out at this year’s Texas Ambassador Great Debate at the University of Texas, held July 28-31 on the University of Texas at Austin campus.
Teams representing San Antonio and El Paso rounded out the top three, with Fort Worth winning the Atheneum, and RGV and East Austin making up the rest of the top three in that category.
Individual category winners included:
1st Place: RGV, Jimena Gonzalez (IB Lamar Academy, McAllen) and Mark Pease (McAllen High School)
2nd Place: RGV, Onofre Martinez (Science Academy of South Texas, Mercedes) and Nathan Valdez (Science Academy of South Texas, Mercedes)
1st Place: RGV, Mitzi Trevino (IDEA College Prep, Donna)
2nd Place: San Antonio, Andres Barrera (Alamo Heights High School)
1st place: San Antonio, Brandon Berlanga (Alamo Heights High School) and Keeban Villareal (Travis Early College High School, San Antonio)
2nd place: Laredo, Mia Reyes (Martin High School, Laredo) and Mario Alberto (Early College High School, Laredo)
1st place: RGV, Zachary King (IB Lamar Academy, McAllen)
2nd place: San Antonio, Armando Hernandez (Travis Early College High School, San Antonio)
“NHI to me is a place where you find your second family and can connect to individuals who can empower other young Latinos to create success stories and overcome boundaries,” Mitzi Trevino said of her experience. “NHI has made me come to the realization that there are other young Latinos like me in my place who want change and who desire to make a ripple effect in the current world.”
Another member of the winners’ circle, Mark Pease, remarked, “NHI, to me, is a program that connects fellow Latino leaders together to solve the problems that each and every one of us faces in today’s world,” adding the program “made me realize . . . together we can solve anything.”
Yael Silverman, who advanced to the Mock Trial Sweet Sixteen round, promised to return following her NHI experience, noting, “I loved the Great Debate and the people I met with it and I’m excited to see what LDZ has to offer.”
The program also received a special visit from a DishLATINO camera crew, filming for a soon to be officially announced partnership, in which DishLATINO will help raise awareness about NHI programs.
“DishLATINO is proud to partner with the NHI and support an initiative that is both relevant and impactful to the growing U.S. Hispanic community, an audience that we are passionate about serving,” said Jennifer McBride-Castro, General Manager, DishLATINO. “While attending this year’s Texas Ambassador Great Debate in Austin, I was highly impressed by the level of drive, leadership, and poise these students demonstrated, which is a testament to the investment NHI has made in their current and future success.”