ZACH YUSAF

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My name is Zach Yusaf and I am 18 years old. I am in twelfth grade and I have been debating for seven years. My other passions include soccer, running, baseball, sailing, drawing, reading comics and making movies.

When I started middle school, I discovered that our school offered extra-curricular activities, including debate. I reluctantly joined the debate team at my parents' suggestion.  What I found was a natural fit for me. I found an activity where students can showcase their public speaking ability, their intelligence and love for competition. I immediately formed a team with my sister and one of my friends. Together, we devoured any information handed to us on the art of debate and vigorously prepared for our first tournament. Although we were new to debate, our quickly-formed passion for the activity enabled us to win our first tournament!

 

Since that time and over the following three years, my team became one of the most successful teams in our school's history.  Some of the highlights are listed below. While tournament wins and trophies are gratifying, the real benefits of debate are the skills it develops, such as:

-Public speaking;

-The ability to research and understand complicated topics;

-Critical thinking;

-Persuasion;

-The ability to think on your feet;

-The ability to understand opposing viewpoints.

 

One of my school's unofficial mottos is "Go Forth and Spread Beauty and Light".  I understand this to mean that whatever skills or knowledge I possess, I have the duty and obligation to pass them on to others.  I was fortunate to attend a school with a nationally recognized debate program. I was fortunate to have remarkable debate coaches. Now, my goal is to help others in whatever way I can. My goal is to help others who may not have the resources that I was fortunate enough to have. This is why I created Pass The Gavel. This is a completely free program run by myself and other volunteer debaters which will help make debate more widespread and help others the way that I have been helped.

Zach Yusaf, June, 2019

Achievements


MIDDLE SCHOOL DEBATE

  • MSPDP 2017 East Coast Championship 5-0 record

  • MSPDP 2017 East Coast Championship Top 7th Grade Speaker 

  • MSPDP 2018 East Coast Championship 4-1 record

  • MSPDP Best Win-Loss Record 2017

  • MSPDP Best Win-Loss Record 2018

  • Top Middle School Team 2017

  • Top Middle School Team 2018

  • Middle School MVP 2018

  • MSPDP Top Speaker at numerous tournaments

 

VARSITY PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE

 

10th Grade. Team Hackley YK
Ranked as high as 18th in the Country by NSD.
Final National Ranking: #34. Three TOC Gold Bids.

  • The Byram Hills Invitational 4-1 preliminary record. TOURNAMENT CHAMPION

  • The Yale Invitational 4-2 preliminary record: Advanced to Triple Octa-Finals.

  • The Bronx Science Invitational 5-2 preliminary record: Advanced to Triple Octa-Finals.

  • The Princeton Classic 5-2 preliminary record: Advanced to Octa-Finals. GOLD TOC BID

  • John Edie Holiday Debates Hosted by The Blake School 4-2 preliminary record: Advanced to Semi-Finals. GOLD TOC BID

  • Lexington Invitational 4-2 preliminary record: Advanced to Double Octa-Finals.

  • The University of Pennsylvania Invitational 4-2 preliminary record: Advanced to Quarter-Finals. GOLD TOC BID

  • The Tournament of Champions 4-3 preliminary record.

11th Grade Varsity. Team Hackley YK

Ranked 7th in the Country by the National Debate Coaches Association. Seven TOC Gold Bids.

 

   

  • NSDA Season Opener Hosted by UK: 6-0 preliminary record.  Advanced to Semi-Finals. GOLD TOC BID

  • The Yale Invitational 5-1 preliminary record: Advanced to Triple Octa-Finals.

  • The New York City Invitational (Team Hackley YY): 5-2 preliminary record: TOURNAMENT CHAMPION. GOLD TOC BID

  • Apple Valley Minneapple Debate Tournament: 4-2 preliminary record: TOURNAMENT CHAMPION. GOLD TOC BID

  • Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament: 5-2 preliminary record: Advanced to Octa-Finals. GOLD TOC BID

  • The Princeton Classic: 6-1 preliminary record: Advanced to Octa-Finals. GOLD TOC BID

  • John Edie Holiday Debates Hosted by The Blake School 4-2 preliminary record: Advanced to Semi-Finals. GOLD TOC BID

  • 2021 Sunvite: 4-2 preliminary record: Advanced to Octa-Finals. GOLD TOC BID

  • Cavalier Invitational at Durham Academy: Advanced to Octa-Finals. SILVER TOC BID

  • Harvard National Forensics Tournament: Advanced to Triple Octa-Finals.

  • The Tournament of Champions 4-3 preliminary record.

12th Grade Varsity. Team Hackley YY

Ranked as high as 6th in the Country by the NDCA. Two TOC Gold Bids.

  • NSDA Season Opener Hosted by UK: 4-2 preliminary record.  Advanced to Octa-Finals. GOLD TOC BID

  • The Yale Invitational 6-0 preliminary record: Advanced to Triple Octa-Finals.

  • The New York City Invitational: 5-2 preliminary record: Advanced to Quarter-Finals. GOLD TOC BID

  • John Edie Holiday Debates Hosted by The Blake School 4-2 preliminary record: Advanced to Double Octa-Finals. SILVER TOC BID

  • The Twin Cities Round Robin: 9-1 Preliminary Record. Advanced to Finals.

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