During the Summer of 2008, the Voices Foundation was able to provide financial assistance for ten qualified, financially needy students to attend summer debate camps, including the National Symposium for Debate (NSD), the Championship Debate Group at St.  Edwards College in Austin, Texas, the National Debate Forum at Emerson College, and the Colloquium for Academic Debate (CAD) at Westside High School in Houston.

Profiles of the students and their experiences:

Katie Bergus is a senior at Gig Harbor High School in Gig Harbor, Washington.  She attended the National Symposium for Debate. 
"When I originally looked in to where I wanted to go to camp this summer, I knew that if I wanted to be the best, I had to go where the best go. This is certainly what I discovered to be true about NSD. I was impressed not only by the small student to lab leader ratio, but also by how much the lab leaders cared; they did everything they knew to make sure each and every kid got the most out of camp. Outside of just my lab leaders (Ernie Rose, Patrick Diehl, and Wade Houston), if ever I needed help with anything, I knew I could ask any other person on staff or student at camp, for that matter. Everyone was helpful, because we all wanted the same thing – success.
In two weeks, I was introduced to many important concepts and skills, but in addition to the new skills I picked up, I learned how to better employ other strategies I learned earlier in my debate career. The camp was everything I hoped for and a lot more. Everyone there was serious about getting better, and it motivated me even more to work as hard as I could to improve. I am and will be forever grateful for the Voices Foundation, for helping me make this dream and experience a reality".

Sehar  Hirani attends Mayde Creek High School in Houston, Texas.  Her parents are immigrants from Pakistan.  She attended the Colloquium for Academic Debate.

Nabiha Hossain attends Alief Hastings High School in Houston, TX as a sophomore. She attended the Colloquium for Academic Debate. 

She says that speech and debate has buried a path of drugs and crime.  She summarizes her experience: "CAD is probably one of the best ideas regarding debate camps. As opposed to other debate camps, CAD was affordable. This being my first debate camp, I couldn't distinguish my experience from others' at far more expensive camps; I felt like I learned just as much as I could from the best of more established camps. And the staff was remarkable. these people came together from all across the nation, just for their passion of debate, and you could certainly tell by their enthusiastic teaching methods. Their experience and the fact that they were a staff close to our age, made them easy to learn from.  As I told the staff, CAD has completely changed my concept of LD."

Angela Jong is a sophomore at Lakes High School  in Lakewood, Washington.   She has established a debate club in her school, which previously had none.  She attended the National Symposium for Debate.

"My experience at NSD was spectacular. I have never been more challenged in my life. We had a very rigorous schedule packed with labs, lectures, and practice debates. Because I have never debated before, NSD has helped me to know the fundamentals and I have greatly improved since I first started. At the camp tournament, I went 2-3 against experienced debaters. NSD has enabled me to be a competitive debater in my state and also to teach my peers within my debate team. It has been such a blessing to be able to go to such an institute".

Tomas Lorinc is a senior at Plano Senior High School, Plano, Texas.  He attended the Colloquium for Academic Debate.

"Experience: CAD offered a camp experience with some of the most notable coaches and debaters in the Texas area. With a well-regulated environment, the staff offered many notable lectures, that explained many different aspects of debate, and one on one instruction with the lab leaders. This allowed for my personal questions to be answered in a deeper context then they would be in a larger learning environment. The one on one instruction also expanded my knowledge of the different debate styles practiced by the instructors".

Ynalvi Marquez is an 8th-grader at Olle Middle School in Houston, where she is president of the speech and debate team. She attended the Colloquium for Academic Debate.

"I have only one working parent and live with my older, younger sister, my dad, and my mom.  I had a great time at the camp.  I gained a lot of confidence. I made some new friend and we are staying in touch every once and a while. One thing I loved about the camp was that they not only taught you about LD; I also learned about other thing like international relations. They really made me feel comfortable after the second day of class. I finally felt the acceptance I've been wanting since the beginning of my middle school life. Now I feel like I can compete with other debaters in the country. thanks to the CAD program".

Zoe Staum attends Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts.  She attended the National Debate Forum at Emerson College.

Joshua Tang is a senior at Kerr High School in Houston who works to pay for his tournament expenses. He attended the Championship Debate Group at St.  Edwards College in Austin, Texas.

"The Championship Debate Group was an amazing experience that turned me into an exponentially better debater. Over the course of the week, I was able to work with some of the best minds in debate who were able to share the enormous amount of knowledge that they possess. I was able to implement what I learned during the course of the week in several critiqued practice rounds as well as in the demonstration round at the end of the camp". 

Honda Wang is a junior at Bettendorf High School in Bettendorf, Iowa, who attended the National Symposium for Debate.

"The National Symposium for Debate is one of the best-known debate camps in the nation, and with the aid of the Voices Foundation, my family was able to send me there in a tight fiscal situation. My experience in the debate world has already given me a good grasp of the basics, but I sought more. I finally got what I was looking for at NSD. There were in-depth lectures on counterplans, kritiks, theory use, judge adaptation, rebuttal strategies, and much more. There was guaranteed time for every debater to meet with the highly experienced NSD staff members. Each round was supplemented with a lengthy explanation why the judge affirmed or negated, and my lab leaders sent me in the right direction for case structure, argumentation, rebuttals, and more. Because of my experience at NSD, I feel confident, and I know that I'm ready to effectively compete at the national level at any bid tournament".

Sara Zaman attends Mayde Creek High School in Houston. She attended the Colloquium for Academic Debate.

"CAD was extremely helpful. The lectures and lab schedules corresponded neatly with the problems each debater wanted to have solved. Due to its short duration the camp wasn't able to cover everything but it was sufficient".