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National High School Students to Debate Key Issues at OC

Monday, July 28, 2008   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michael Mitchell
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Vital issues facing the nation and local communities will be debated by 48 outstanding high school students from 27 states including Oklahoma August 3-8 on the Oklahoma Christian University campus. 

The new program, called “iDebate: Developing Leaders with General Tommy Franks,” will be highlighted on national television by Fox Broadcasting Company.  Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst at Fox News, will moderate the debates. 

The public is invited to join in the culminating event Thursday, August 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the Garvey Center on the OC campus.  The final debate will feature the top two teams with nationally known judges including former Congressman, Cabinet Secretary and Vice Presidential candidate Jack Kemp. The winning students will receive a $2,500 scholarship to the university of their choice.  Most expenses, including airfare, room and meals, are paid for by the sponsors.

“Through iDebate, we hope to develop young leaders of character who are well-informed about our communities’ issues, who are able to communicate a vision for a better future, and who can work with people from all walks of life,” said General Tommy Franks, a sponsor and keynote speaker.  “Students will learn about the difficulties and complexities of leadership and come to appreciate the importance of communication in solving problems.  These students and others like them will decide whether the 21st Century is one of optimism or regret.”

“It is important to give talented young people the skills and opportunity to wrestle with the big questions of our time,” said Dr. Nathan Mellor, executive director of the Academy for Leadership & Liberty at Oklahoma Christian. 

iDebate is sponsored by the Academy of Leadership & Liberty, the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) and the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum.  The program, which will take place over five days, is designed as a leadership development camp for the students who will be instructed in strategic thinking, planning and communications.  They will also receive practical training in the art of persuasion, gain in-depth knowledge of various public issues, gather valuable team experience and develop relationships with other up-and-coming leaders.  Students will practice these skills in debates, and will be assigned sides just prior to the debate.  They will be trained by National Center for Policy Analysis’ professional analysts and debate coaches, university professors and university debate students.  Students will also work with General Franks and other leadership experts such as NCPA president Dr. John Goodman and Mellor who teaches leadership at OC. 

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