On Saturday, April 24th, Fatoumata Cisse and Adama Bah, two 11th graders at Hyde, won first place at the American Debate League 2021 Spring Classic Tournament! Fatoumata and Adama teamed up to debate if the benefits of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) outweigh the harms. Adama describes the IMF as being “a financial support team for any countries that need money.” They argued primarily for the cons of the IMF, citing that their main points aimed to expose the apparent corruption and ulterior agendas of the institution. They competed against ten other schools, including Riverdale Country School and Garden City High School, and took their arguments all the way to gold.
Upon being asked what the most exciting moment of the tournament was, Fatoumata notes, “When you’re in the debate and you realize the other team messed up and you know we can really jump on them in this argument, we can really beat them right now, that’s the most exciting part.” Adama echoes Fatoumata by adding, “It’s so exciting when, on the spot, you find a different way to attack the other team’s argument.” When reflecting on their biggest supporters, Fatoumata shouts out her father who helped them find strong pieces of evidence for their arguments. Additionally, Adama attributes much of her passion for debate to Mr. Fusco, Hyde’s debate team leader, and Ms. Hunsinger, who developed Hyde’s debate team. Fatoumata and Adama also attribute their accomplishments to their teamwork and friendship, “I think the main reason for our success at the tournament was because the both of us really get along together,” Fatoumata points out. “I got my best friend, Fatou to compete with!” exclaims Adama.
When considering potential career paths, Fatoumata describes, “Most of the career paths I want to go towards have to do with public speaking, and debate is a really good tool for that.” Adama reflects on her goals by adding, “I was always interested in law. I think I’d want to do criminal law and be a prosecutor… If I become a prosecutor I could have the power to change the system, and then hopefully over time I’ll become a senator or a mayor.” We can’t wait to see what these two first place debaters will do to change the world with their skills in public speaking, research, and argumentation.