Allstate hosts top varsity debaters at early-season competition

For the third consecutive year, Allstate Insurance hosted at its Northbrook headquarters an early-season competition among 32 Varsity debaters from 14 Chicago Debate League schools across conferences. This unique first-semester citywide tournament gives top debate teams an early introduction to their chief competition from across the city.

Held October 27th, the 2012 Allstate Varsity Invitational featured a full day of highly competitive, intense debates about a wide range of issues pertaining to the transportation infrastructure topic (this year’s national academic debate question), including climate change, alternative fuel sources, fracking, the government’s role in the economy, domestic political aspects of transportation policy, and many others.

The 2012 Allstate Varsity Invitational

From Left to Right: Maria Doughty, Corporate Counsel at Allstate; champions Christian Palacios and Katherine Sears (Whitney Young); Susie Lees, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Allstate; and Ben Tarver, Vice President for Law and Regulation Department at Allstate and CDC Board member.

At the end of the day, our Allstate hosts–including General Counsel Susie Lees, Vice President and CDC Board member Ben Tarver, and Corporate Counsel and former National Circuit debater Maria Doughty–presented awards and announced the bestowal of college scholarships, generously funded by Allstate. Whitney Young’s Christian Palacios and Katherine Sears were named the early-season champions, and won $2,000 in college scholarships for their victory. College scholarships were also awarded to the second- and third-place teams, from Lane Tech and Northside, respectively. The top speaker from each of the four high school conferences were also specially honored and given a $250 scholarship for college expenses. Winners were from Perspectives Charter School Joslin, Hubbard, Lindblom, and Whitney Young.

The Allstate sponsors, representatives from Chicago Public Schools, coaches, and the debaters themselves all expressed a great deal of enthusiasm about the third annual Allstate Varsity Invitational. According to Little Village H.S. coach Yvette Campos: “My two kids were thrilled to take part in this prestigious event, in the offices and conference rooms of one of Chicago’s largest and best-known corporations. They benefited greatly from the academic debate competition–and they’ll use what they learned to build on for the rest of the season. But even more so it is a big boost to our debate team and our school to have entered these top tiers. We’re really motivated now to work to be sure we stay there.”

David Smith and Amber Savage from Julian High School at the 2012 Allstate Varsity Invitational