Debate Mate USA is a nonprofit organization that recruits college-students to run after school debating clubs in disadvantaged communities across Boston.
Debate Mate USA’s goal is to increase social mobility in disadvantaged communities by developing young people’s 21st century skills—speaking and listening, teamwork, critical thinking. The lack of these skills is prevalent in young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and is one of the most significant factors in holding young people back, preventing them from realizing their true potential, and perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Using a unique, modified style of British parliamentary debating, we provide an innovative and fun way for young people to increase their teamwork, critical thinking and communication skills. To augment the effectiveness of our teaching method, we use college students from the top schools in the country to act as debate mentors, providing powerful role models for young people, building their self-confidence and raising their aspirations. Ultimately, we hope that 100% of our participants graduate high school, enter employment or go to college.