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Students from High Schools across Texas Rally at NHI’s Great Debate

By Jessica Sinn

image of eventHundreds of ninth-graders from schools across Texas rallied together at the opening ceremony of the National Hispanic Institute’s (NHI) Great Debate on Thursday, July 28 in Welch Hall. The excitement in the air was palpable as they chanted their school fight songs, waved flags and danced with glow sticks to the beat of Tejano music.

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Dr. Victor Saenz and Erica Saenz, associate vice president of the DDCE’s community and external relations, gave a warm welcome to the visiting students.

While staying in Jester Dormitory, the students get to experience the life of a college student and explore the many sites around campus. In his welcome speech, Dr. Victor Saenz, director of the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color and Project MALES, encouraged the students to consider enrolling at UT Austin.

image of studentsNow in its ninth year at UT Austin, the Great Debate gives more than 200 high school freshmen the opportunity to test and improve written and verbal communication skills through organized discussions and debates about issues that impact today’s Latino community. Students gain experience creating content-rich arguments, communicating them through powerful, eloquent expression and carefully analyzing the arguments presented by their peers.

A key partner of the DDCE, the NHI is an international youth organization dedicated to excellence and community leadership. This collaboration is one of the many ways DDCE partners with organizations to support student programs while continuing to enrich the university’s community relations.