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Bronx Borough Councilman Cabrera continues push for Success of Bronx youth at P.S./M.S. 15

Bronx, New York – The first day of June marks the beginning of a transition for students and teachers across the country. The days – warmer, schools – intently wrapping up their programs, and kids feverishly waiting on summer vacation. This year, the first day of June will be intensely significant to a number of Bronx Middle Schoolers who will compete for the title of Bronx Borough Debate Champions. For the second year in a row, students will congregate to P.S./M.S. 15 not only to compete but also to meet and discuss debate with Bronx District 14 Councilman Fernando Cabrera.

Last year, Cabrera praised the New York City Urban Debate League, and P.S./M.S. 15 Coach Shawanda Weems for their dedication to youth in the Bronx and across the city. It isn’t the first time these two have been praised. In 2012, the NYCUDL was selected amongst 349 other nominees to receive the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. Presented by Michelle Obama, the award honors community based programs that make a marked difference in the lives of their participants by improving academic scores, graduation rates, life skills, positive relationships with the community and creative expression.  Weems, who was present and board member of the Debate League was also honored.

The Bronx Borough Championship will take place at P.S./M.S. 15 on June 1st at 4pm and Final and Semfinal rounds will take place on June 2nd at the Young Women’s Leadership School in the Bronx. The tournament currently pits ten schools against one another for the title. Any community members that are interested in Judging or coaching at this event, or future events are welcome. If you are interested, reach out to Executive Director Erik Fogel at,

About the New York City Urban Debate League (NYCUDL)

The New York City Urban Debate League (NYCUDL) is the largest debate league in the nation with debate leagues in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Harlem, Manhattan, and Queens for all age levels – elementary school, middle school, and high school.  

Our mission is that every school should have a debate team and every student should have access to the best education opportunities.

In 2011, there were less than ten schools in the city with debate teams.  We were founded to change this statistic.  Today, over 1000 students and 100 schools participate in our monthly debates. Every day we support debate practices. Every week we offer Saturday workshops. Every weekend our debaters travel to local, regional, and national tournaments. Every month we host public debate nights. Every summer we host debate camps from the first day of summer to the last day of summer. Over 95%-100% of our high school seniors graduate and are accepted to college each year. Many of our graduates also receive full or partial scholarships to the college of their choice because of their participation in debate.