Mahar Arora, 17, had a busy Christmas.
Arora is a Grade 11 student at Brentwood College and is a member of a debating team from the school that has advanced to the “Round of 32” of the 19th annual International Public Policy Forum.
The IPPF is the first and only international debate competition that gives high school students the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy.
This year, the IPPF, which is hosted by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, received qualifying-round essays from 150 teams, representing schools in 28 U.S. states and 19 countries.
Each essay affirmed or negated the topic “Resolved: When in Conflict, a Nation’s Self Interest Should Outweigh its International Commitments to Migrants”.
Submitted essays were reviewed by a committee of judges that determined the top 64 teams based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay.
Two teams from Brentwood made it through to this round, and spent much of the Christmas season volleying a series of essays back and forth by email, and a panel of judges reviewed them in the order in which they were presented.
Arora’s team is now the only Canadian team left in the competition.
“If we can make it to the top eight, we’ll get to go to New York for the final competition,” Arora said.
“I have family there so I’m familiar with the city and I would look forward to showing my teammates around if we get that far. It’s pretty exciting because no other team from Brentwood College ever made it this far in this competition.”
The “Elite 8” teams earn an all-expense paid trip to the IPPF finals in New York City from April 24-26, 2020.
In New York, teams will compete in oral debates in front of a panel of judges, that include professionals in law, business, politics, debate and academia.
The IPPF champion team will be awarded a $10,000 grand prize and the Brewer Cup.
“The IPPF presents an exciting opportunity for high school students to engage in issue-oriented advocacy, competing against some of the best debate teams in the world,” said William A. Brewer, founder of the Brewer Foundation and chairman of the IPPF advisory board.