Debaters at Harvard


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Alexander Valle

Not many students cannot say they have visited Harvard let alone competed at such a prestigious school, but senior Joel Cortes and junior Luis Trejo achieved both. The duo from the PMA debate team flew out to Cambridge, Massachusetts to compete in the 45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament on the 16th and 17th of February.

“Debate at Harvard was more special than the other tournaments I have been to in my career. Not only was I representing myself on the biggest stage but I was representing Phoenix Military Academy,” said Cortes.

This was Cortes’ second time participating in such a tournament. Cortes proudly represented PMA through 7 hard fought debate rounds.

“I was very nervous to face other schools that might be better than us, but once we reached round 5 I blacked out and I woke up in Chicago,” said Cortes.

Cortes had every right to be nervous competing at such a big tournament and against top schools. However, Cortes did win a round where the topic of debate was related to immigration.

“It was, in a way more challenging. Each school sent their best teams to compete,” said Cortes.  

The tough competition did not stop Cortes from enjoying his trip at Harvard.

“We toured the campus, and learned more about the rich history of Harvard,” said Cortes.