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THE GREAT DEBATE

THE GREAT DEBATE

For over 30 years, students from all over the state of Texas have participated in the Great Debate—a program created by NHI for freshmen students to harness the power of their voice and their ideas—and the consensus is clear:

"I am having difficulty even finding the right words to convey just how grateful and impressed my husband and I are at the level of passion, commitment, and excellence put forth by all. I saw my daughter grow in confidence, research skills, preparation, public-speaking, use of technology, and managing competitive stress. I saw coaches selflessly dedicate so much time and effort to see that each kid was prepared to perform to the best of their abilities"

– Parent of Great Debate Participant 

In addition to enhancing their communication and analytical-thinking skills, participants also gain access to an eclectic range of opportunities, including interactive presentations and college fairs with representatives from the top universities in the United States. In the past five years alone, participants have enrolled at top institutions such as Princeton University, Columbia University, Harvard University, and Yale University. 

THE PROGRAM

It takes place in two phases: the Preparation Phase and the Competition Phase.

In the Preparation Phase (late February to early June), participants are first welcomed into the organization at the Induction Ceremony—there, they have the opportunity to meet the individuals who will be their mentors and peers. After the Induction Ceremony, participants engage in a two-day event known as the Weekend Series. After the Weekend Series, participants are sorted into one of four categories: Mock Trial, Cross Examination, Oratory, and Extemporaneous Speaking. For the remainder of this phase, participants learn to compete in these categories and refine their abilities.

In the Competition Phase (early June), all participants board a bus and travel to the Texas Great Debate, hosted by Austin College in Sherman, Texas (a few minutes outside of Dallas). At the Texas Great Debate, students compete for four days against teams from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, El Paso, and Corpus Christi. At the end of the four days, the team that has accumulated the greatest number of points is declared the Silver Cup Champions. A little bit of history:

YEAR

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

SILVER CUP CHAMPIONS

NHI at Tip of Texas

RGV

RGV

NHI at Tip of Texas

RGV

NHI at Tip of Texas

RGV
NHI at Tip of Texas

NHI at Tip of Texas

NHI at Tip of Texas

NHI at Tip of Texas

In short, our region—NHI at Tip of Texas—has a long legacy of excellence, and we are eager for you to be a part of it.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

In order to participate, students must first create an NHI account. After creating their account, students must submit an application to participate in the Texas Great Debate with NHI at Tip of Texas. After submitting an application, students will be contacted with information about the schedule for the year.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Project Administrator Tino Villarreal or our Assistant Project Administrator Jorge Lee Ochoa

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the program cost?


A non-refundable $25 application fee and a tuition of $695 are required in order to participate. Included in the tuition is the cost of both the Preparation Phase (training materials, team shirts, etc) and the Competition Phase (three meals per day while at the Texas Great Debate as well as housing for all four days). NHI provides flexible payment plans to all those interested. In addition, by participating in the program, participants become eligible to return and serve as volunteers. As volunteers, participants are able to staff any one of NHI's programs and have their meals and housing covered by NHi at Tip of Texas.




Where do participants practice?


NHI at Tip of Texas is fortunate enough to have a partnership with Saint Joseph Academy (101 Saint Joseph Dr). As part of said partnership, the Academy provides us access to their facilities for several regional functions.




Who is eligible to participate?


All freshmen students from Cameron County who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) and have never participated in an NHI program before are eligible to participate.