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Great Debate, NHI Programs

2018 Texas Great Debate kicks off at Austin College

Posted: June 8, 2018 at 8:59 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The National Hispanic Institute’s flagship Great Debate program — doubling as the opener to the NHI summer program season — got off to a rousing start yesterday, as teams from throughout Texas converged on Austin College in Sherman for the 2018 edition of the Texas Great Debate.

“We believe in the great mission of NHI and we believe in you,” Austin College Director of Admissions Alan Ramirez said in the opening ceremonies event yesterday afternoon in the Ida Green Theater.

He specifically addressed the team members representing major cities and regions from throughout the state, saying, “You were selected to participate to serve as members of a talented team and represent your regions, but most importantly to be leaders.” He added, “If there is to be a better tomorrow, it must begin with you.”

NHI founder and president Ernesto Nieto was part of the NHI leadership contingent who trekked to Sherman. He told the students, “I don’t know who will emerge as the winner. What I care about is the lifelong friends you will be making.”

Luis Gomez, a Cathedral High School student on the El Paso team, has a cousin who participated in the nearly 30-year-old program back in 2001, but first considered going to this year’s competition when NHI alumni visited the school.

“I wanted to speak better publicly and socialize effectively,” Gomez said of his motivations for going. “I was very impressed by one of the presenters that I knew, who was timid a while back, was completely extroverted and presented incredibly and persuasively.”

Austin College and NHI: Partners for more than 25 years

“We’re grateful to Austin College for opening its doors to our students for what has become one of our flagship programs,” said NHI executive vice president Nicole Sada in a press release issued prior to the program. “Their hospitality and commitment to the Texas Great Debate helps give these students a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and inspires many of the participants to further their leadership education at other NHI programs.”

“The National Hispanic Institute is an outstanding organization providing exemplary academic and co-curricular experiences for student leaders, and it has been our pleasure and honor to partner with this organization,” said Austin College president Steven O’Day in the same release. “These are strong Austin College values and we look forward to hosting this meaningful student opportunity for future leaders.”

The program will continue through Sunday morning.

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