Get to know the 2018 Urban Debater of the Year: Daniel Montalvo

“Debate has made me the individual I am today.”

Daniel lives in Milwaukee, one of the poorest and most segregated cities in the country. Milwaukee offers little opportunity to young men like Daniel, but he was determined to seize any opportunity that he could find. He earned a spot at one of the best high schools in Wisconsin, and, as a freshman, he joined the debate team. For the next four years, Daniel used debate to propel himself forward. His coach says that, “Debate is his life.” Disappointed with his second place finish at the City Championship Tournament, Daniel re-doubled his efforts and won the Championship this year. One of the top debaters in Wisconsin, he has qualified twice for the Urban Debate National Championship Tournament. At the same time, Daniel has consistently maintained an “A” average in his school’s rigorous IB program. He also finds time to work in the community, where he has organized a Youth Art Gallery for the past three years, and to coach and mentor the novice debaters on his team. His coach describes Daniel as “the hardest working teen I know.” Next fall, he will be the first in his family to attend college.

The Urban Debater of the Year is a scholarship competition recognizing a student whose life and community have been transformed by their commitment and dedication to debate. The winner automatically qualifies for the Urban Debate National Championship, delivers a speech at the Annual Dinner and receives a college scholarship.

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