I started debate halfway through grade 9, and began improving very quickly. In less than one year, I went from being a complete novice to breaking at national tournaments.
Some of the things I've achieved that year have been:
Stanford Public Forum, Octafinalist
Harvard Public Forum, Int. Semifinalist
SFU Public Forum 11th top speaker (in the senior category, as a junior)
Bluebonnet World Schools, Octafinalist
Alongside that, there was also a handful of strange shenanigans and theorizing about nuclear war.
It seemed like I was on a roll... well, until I wasn't.
I lost my friend who was one of my debate partners in late Sophomore year. It was an event that changed my perception of debate. I loved the activity but competing in it didn't feel the same after that. However, the community and memories I've made stayed with me.
Taking the time to reflect on debate and my frustrations gave me an opportunity to see the activity through an outsider's lens. Though I loved the thrill of argumentation, there were many parts of the activity that could've been improved.
With the motivation to change the debate circuit for the better, a friend and I co-founded Equal Proposition. Our idea was to provide free resources for the Canadian debate circuit in order to face the evident shortage of public domain information.
I continue to put all the effort I can in making debate a better experience for both present and future debaters. Eventually, I've decided that I could be making more of an impact by pushing for accessibility in debate instead of spending time chopping quotes from news articles and spending weeks on cases.
Though this may not be the most conventional debate story, I'm happy to see where it will take me.