WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Speech and debate is a recommended course for high school students in Kansas.

Ad Astra Debate League is dedicated to ensuring youth experience what speech and debate have to offer, giving them transferable skills in the process.

“This year’s debate topic is about NATO and overall just politics in general,” said Korban Lea, a debate student.

Students research topics.

“See how the world works and be open to a lot more new ideas,” said William Sandlin, debate student.

Receiving clear benefits.

“I’m way more confident; I’m way more comfortable speaking to people,” said Danielle Tucker, a debate student.

Southeast High debate member Maya Rubio is finding community through conversation.

“Even if you guys are different, you still find a way to communicate through speech and debate,” said Rubio.

She’s using her third year to give back through Ad Astra Debate League.

“Being able to judge and connect to the next generation of debate and speech is really powerful,” said Rubio.

A compelling connection that flows beyond the classroom.

“My dad recently signed up to be a judge in speech, and that way, when I go home, I got the ability to talk to him more,” said Rubio.

Transferable skills, recognized for their value.

“The business community and communities throughout Kansas have seen the value in having people that have effective communication skills and problem solve and collaborate and come up with creative solutions to the challenges they face in life,” said Mike Harris, co-founder and director of Ad Astra Debate League.

An extra-curricular that is proving to be more than an after-school pastime.

“You can express yourself. You can find things that you like, find things that you don’t like. It’s just really an area where you can feel at home,” said Rubio.

Ad Astra Debate League is looking to expand into middle schools.

Three ways to support:

  1. Become a Judge
  2. Become a Coach
  3. Sponsor a Student to Compete