Best Smarty-Pants Program for High-Schoolers (2012)
Denver Urban Debate League
When was the last time you heard a tenth-grader talking about nuclear proliferation or deep-space exploration? If your answer is "never," then you haven't been to a Denver Urban Debate League tournament. Launched in 2008, the program aims to bring an intensely intellectual activity usually reserved for affluent suburban high schools to inner-city schools such as Manual, West and Thomas Jefferson. And the results are nothing short of incredible. Think today's youth have never heard of Henry Kissinger and couldn't find North Korea on a map? Think they're not paying attention to the world? Think again.