LEADERSHIP

ZACH WU

President (2021- )

Zach Wu is a senior at Naperville North High School. As a top-ranked Congressional debater in the country, in his three years of high school Congress, Zach has championed the Princeton Classic, the UPenn Liberty Bell Classic, the Harvard Forensics Tournament, the Illinois Congressional Debate Association’s state championship twice, and the IHSA State Championship. Along the way, he has accumulated 17 (and counting) bids to the prestigious Tournament of Champions, placing 2nd at the 2021 TOC and winning the 2022 TOC Champion Presiding Officer. As a co-founder and the president of Youth Voices, Zach has personally helped to train over 150 debaters around the country to date. Outside of debate, Zach plays varsity golf and solves Future Problems. In his free time, he enjoys playing a copious amount of pickup basketball, trouncing Heman and Pushkar in fantasy football, and listening to 2000s Mandarin pop music. 

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Hemanshu Boppana

Director of Operations

Hemanshu Boppana is a senior at Naperville North High School. Being a student of Congressional Debate for three years and counting, he’s been consistently growing as a debater while helping others improve as well. Among his many accolades as a debater are clearing to the final rounds of the 2021 IHSA State Championship, the 2021 ICDA Tournament of Champions, the 2021 Nova Titan Invitational, and the 2022 Durham Invitational. At Youth Voices, Hemanshu is involved in almost every department within the organization, and helps to supervise the marketing team. Outside of the debate world, you’ll often find Hemanshu screaming at the Chicago Bears on his TV, stressing over his fantasy football team, and sampling new cuisines.

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PUSHKAR BETSUR

Director of Activism 

Pushkar is a senior at Naperville Central High School. He has competed at the state level for Congressional Debate and has won first place awards in local level competition, as well as a treasure trove of Best Presiding Officer gavels. Pushkar is a semifinalist at the 2021 IHSA State Championship. He also serves as the Vice President of Naperville Central's Junior State of America chapter, which is where he developed a passion for advocacy and activism. Pushkar is involved in robotics, is a varsity shot putter, and finds great achievement in being Zach's most dependable pick-and-roll partner in pickup basketball games. 

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Nick Chen

Director of Program Management

Nick is a sophomore at American University studying International Relations and Data Science. Having worked with Youth Voices since its inception in the spring of 2020, Nick has been involved in every aspect of the YV ecosystem, from volunteering his time at club sessions, to teaching multiple semesters of debate courses, to co-managing the Leadership Program. As a Congressional debater, he was captain of the Conant High School Team, where he won the 2021 IHSA State Championship, placed 3rd at the 2020 Sunvitational, and qualified to the Tournament of Champions twice. His students have reached national semifinal and final rounds at the middle and high school level. His students represented 25% of the Congress finalists of the 2022 Middle School Harvard Tournament.

Varun Vaid

Director of OutReach

Varun is a senior at Naperville North High School. He has competed for the past 3 years at both the local and national level in Congressional Debate. He was a finalist at the 2021 IHSA State Championship, and a quarterfinalist at the 2021 Yale Invitational. He works to hone his public speaking skills, while sharing what he knows with those around him. At Youth Voices, Varun works hard to find new opportunities for the program and students, including outside partnerships and special projects, while lending a helping hand wherever he is needed. Varun is the captain of the varsity waterpolo team and is on the varsity wrestling team. Varun loves reading science fiction and fantasy books when he’s not mucking around in the forest or pursuing astronomy in his free time.