DOINews: DOI Educational Partnerships Program: DOI Employees Participate D.C. Urban Debate League Tournament

Last edited 09/05/2019

Group photo of DOI participants at the school
Representatives from the Department of the Interior gather for a
group photo at The D.C. Urban Debate League's Tournament on May 17, 2014. (From left, David Quirino (OCR); Brenda Woods (OS);
Grace Galba-Bright (NPS); Monamma Al-Ghuiyy (NPS); Alexie Rogers (BLM); and
Jennifer Laliberte (BOEM). Photo taken by an event volunteer.

On May 17, 2014, representatives from the Department of the Interior served as
judges at a debate tournament sponsored by The D.C. Urban Debate League. A
high-school debate team from Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public
Policy, a DOI partner, participated in the tournament, along with other District
of Columbia public schools. Students
developed and responded to arguments about Balancing Economic Development and
Environmental Protection in India.
This is the third debate
tournament that DOI has participated in during the 2013-2014 academic school

representatives and bureaus included Jennifer Laliberte, biologist,
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; Alexie Rogers, chief, Office of Civil Rights
and Equal Employment Opportunity, Bureau of Land Management; David Quirino, senior
public civil rights specialist, Office of Civil Rights, Office of the Secretary;
Monamma Al-Ghuiyy, volunteer and youth coordinator, President's Park, National
Park Service; and Grace Galba-Bright, budget analyst, White House Liaison
Office, National Park Service.

The D.C. Urban Debate League sponsors five
tournaments each year. Students participating in debates apply research,
communication and critical thinking skills to argue a position. At the May 17 tournament, the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy high-school debate team ranked second in the city in overall wins. The volunteers reflected upon
their experience serving as a judge. Quirino said, "The students were very
impressive and knowledgeable on the debate topic."

"I very much appreciated the opportunity to
participate as a judge at the D.C. Urban Debate League Tournament," Laliberte
said. "It was a great experience - not only were the students in the debate
league incredibly impressive, but I also got the chance to interact with other
folks in DOI. The experience made me proud to work for an organization that
cultivates and promotes partnerships such as the one DOI has with the Cesar
Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy."

passion, courage and opportunity was the order of the day. … Every one of the
debate participants answered the call, " Rogers said

Al-Ghuiyy said, " The youth of the
Urban Debate League inspired me, reminding me of how important it is to
interact with youth, reminding me if you're open to learning, you can walk away
learning something about them as well as something about yourself."

Other Interior Department employees who have participated in the
debate tournaments for the academic school year include Jessica Sobarzo,
program coordinator, Office of Recruitment and Retention, Bureau of Land
Management; and Rachel Dimmitt, presidential management fellow, Office of Policy
and Analysis, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

The Chavez Schools operates 4 campuses in Washington, D.C., and
serves students from sixth through 12th grade.
The mission of the school is to prepare students to succeed in college and
empower them to use public policy as avenue to create a just society.

For additional information about
volunteer opportunities, contact Brenda Woods at 202-208-3617 or via e-mail

By: Brenda Woods, program manager, Educational Partnerships
Program, OS, DOI

May 30, 2014

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