HUDL celebrated the successful 2018-2019 season with its Annual Awards Luncheon in downtown Houston on April 4.
After HUDL Chairman Eric Emerson welcomed the attendees to the J.W. Marriott, League Directors Steven Jump and Mark Niles recognized HUDL's Coach of the Year, Martin Klein of Liberty High School, an alternative-format school for recent immigrants. Klein's work introducing speech and debate to the students of Liberty, nearly all of whom are non-native English speakers, is inspiring. HUDL also recognized the contributions of the Heights High School squad to HUDL's mission by awarding the squad the "Spirit of HUDL" award.
The highlights of the afternoon, however, were the stirring speeches by four remarkable young HUDL students. Westside High's Ronald Poole described how debating everything from philosophy to Pokemon prepared him for his next step, studying neuroscience at Emory University. Lynda Mejia, a South Early College High student preparing for the University of North Texas, told the audience how debate improved her confidence and showed her she had a voice. Kennedy Scott, of Spring Early College Academy, discussed how debate fueled her ambition to become a criminal defense attorney and community leader. Hamza Bouderdaben, an aspiring engineer from Harmony School of Advancement, warmly related how his caring parents encouraged and enabled him in his education, and how HUDL tournaments gave him opportunities that otherwise would have been far more difficult to attain.
The proceeds of the event supported HUDL's programming and activities, including its summer debate camp. Among the supporters and guests on hand:
Liskow & Lewis
Smyser Kaplan & Veselka
Vinson & Elkins
Nathan Coco & Deborah Gordon
Margaret & Peter Tellegen
Harris County Department of Education
HUDL appreciates the help and support of all who attended.