Speech and Debate develops effective communication skills, prepares students for college, improves reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. It also develops critical-thinking skills and intellectual curiosity, and increases engagement with other students. Students excel academically and personally, as well as learning skills for careers and life. Today, it’s more crucial than ever that teens develop the skills to speak in front of an audience as well as learn to think critically, explore all sides of an issue and formulate evidence-based points of view. Beyond the improvements in their academic performance that prepare them to excel in college, speech and debate students change in ways that influence every aspect of their lives. It gives them the social and academic confidence they need to grow as individuals, achieve educational goals, pursue meaningful work, and improve the lives of others — and our world.