Check out the summaries of all our past events and meetings we've held since the very start of Youth Voices!
Our first webinar 6/6/20:
In our first webinar, we introduced our organization, it’s principles, staff, and future plans to an audience of 50-60 people. We held a second webinar a week later that was focused on answering questions, which brought 15-20 extra attendees.
UCA Partnership Lecture 7/5/20:
We partnered with the United Chinese Americans (UCA) in a mental health seminar. This seminar was focused on mental health awareness, and how to approach the problem. Over 300 members attended. The seminar was composed of professional mental health experts giving insights and advice, along with multiple guest speakers from teens to parents, who shared their personal stories.
Partnership with Beyond Charity 8/2/20:
10-15 members attended this hour-long seminar by the Naperville student-run non profit Beyond Charity. They talked about common mental health issues, signs, symptoms, and treatments.
Youth Voices New Years Party 12/31/20:
Youth Voices celebrated half a year of service with an online New Year’s party that was open to everyone. There were many performances, including singing, dancing, and the arts, as well as messages from our leadership congratulating staff for their efforts and results. We are looking forward to next year!
Art Response Mental Workshop 2/17/21:
Online initiative partnered with the Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA) with the objective of using art as a coping process and a healing method for better mental health.
Dialogue with Politicians: John Krummen and Paul Leong 2/21/21:
This event was a public, open-for-all dialogue hosted by Youth Voices with Naperville City Council candidates Mr. John Krummen and Mr. Paul Leong. In front of over 80 attendees, six brave Youth Voices students were given the opportunity to host this event, giving opening speeches, closing speeches, and running the Q&A.
Advanced Speech Showcase 3/20/21:
Ms. Annie Schuver’s Advanced Speech students showcased their growth and development in their research, argumentation, and public speaking skills. Each student gave either an impromptu or extemporaneous speech during this event.
Middle School Tournament of Champions 5/11-5/12:
At this event, Youth Voices went toe-to-toe with the world's best and largest speech and debate programs, featuring a team of 20 competitors across 4 events. The YV MSTOC team performed exceptionally, ending with over a quarter of our students clearing to semifinals or finals. More info can be found at this news post.
Idyllic Art 5/21/21:
A three part event, in coordination with Idyllic Art, a student run organization. Students had to create a piece of art pertaining to mental health, write a 1-2 minute speech showing why it was important, and then present at a YV meeting if they made it to the finals. Cash prizes and memberships were awarded.
Meeting 1 6/20/20:
In this meeting, we discussed the basics of argumentation and examined effective argumentation. We talked about the structure and content of a basic argument.
Meeting 2 6/27/20:
In this meeting, we covered the techniques of effective delivery with our guest lecturer and coach: Brian Zheng. Brian is the most decorated speaker in Illinois state history, with multiple state and national titles under his name. After the lecture, we broke out into smaller breakout rooms and our junior instructors led engaging drills and exercises to practice effective speech delivery strategies.
Meeting 3 7/11/20:
In this meeting, our guest instructor Vivian Zhao led the lecture. Vivian is the reigning ICDA State Champion in Congressional Debate, and the multiple-time national finalist. The focus of the lecture was on refutation and cross-examination, two extremely valuable skills in debate.
Meeting 4 7/18/20:
In this meeting, our guest instructor Nick Chen gave a lecture about research and evidence. Nick is a rising senior and co-captain of the Conant Congressional Debate Team. He’s an accomplished debater at both the state and national level, amassing multiple bids to the Tournament of Champions, and placing 3rd at the 2020 Sunvitational. We also grouped students into lab groups for the remaining 4 weeks of the summer session.
Meeting 5 7/25/2020:
In our fifth session, instructor and president William Ma covered key facts and figures about current gun control policy, it’s problems, as well as potential solutions to those problems. He then discussed the importance of background research. We went over four different bills which would be debated on in scrimmages held on our seventh and eighth meetings. In our breakout rooms, our instructors worked with students on developing arguments and understanding resolutions.
Meeting 6 8/01/2020:
This session began with a demonstration of what a typical Congressional Debate round would look like, replete with procedures, timing, and all the argumentation skills that students had been honing for the past few weeks. Our six instructors participated in the demonstration to show students what a CD round would look like, and what they’d have to do during sessions 7 and 8.
Meeting 7 8/8/2020:
In this meeting our students held debate scrimmages between lab groups in breakout rooms. Each student was expected to speak on both pieces of legislation that were introduced previously.
Meeting 8 8/21/2020:
In the final meeting of the summer session, students gave their second round of speeches in breakout rooms for the debate scrimmages. Students were encouraged to sign up for our next fall session.
Meeting 9 9/5/2020:
This meeting marked the start of our Fall Session. The CARES bill was introduced, and students were expected to draft arguments for the bill. Afterwards, William Ma gave a more in depth lecture on refutation and the many different ways that we should correctly and effectively refute arguments in-round.
Meeting 10 9/19/2020:
We covered the basics of flowing, which is the process of note-taking in debate, as well as some good rules for questioning. Most of the session was spent in breakout rooms where students honed their understanding of the CARES bill and their delivery skills.
Meeting 11 10/10/2020:
Students were split into 3 breakout rooms based on age and skill and debated both sides of the CARES bill. A new bill was assigned afterwards.
Meeting 12 10/17/2020:
Our instructors guided students through their research on the new bill introduced, and also engaged members with group activities.
Meeting 13 11/07/2020:
With preparations being done on both sides of the bill, students engaged in practice rounds to improve their argumentation and delivery skills.
Meeting 14 11/21/2020:
This session was a bit different from the usual, as it was held in the morning and was a showcase hosted by Ms. Annie Schuver and her speech students. It served to give a preview of the progress the students have made, and garnered interest in future Youth Voices Speech programs.
Meeting 15 12/05/2020:
The seventh week concluded our fall session. It consisted of a debate showcase by selected Youth Voices students, as well as announcements for new classes and new instructors going into the Spring 2021 season.
Meeting 16 1/16/2021:
This meeting marked the beginning of our Spring Session. We made some changes to our curriculum to meet demand and added a speech program to our meetings. Students participating in speech will focus on impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, and will have some different lectures and activities than the debate students. We also split up the lectures based on age group. During this meeting, we did ice breakers and drills in breakout rooms, and discussed delivery.
Meeting 17 1/30/2021:
The second week of our spring session mirrored the second week of our summer session, as we first provided a lecture on delivery, and then broke up students into breakout rooms where they could practice with various delivery drills. Speech students were given their own individual assignments.
Meeting 18 3/13/2021:
In this session, students worked on further developing our argumentation and contention skills. Students were encouraged to sign up for the 10 week long “Spring 2” semester courses.
Meeting 19 3/27/2021:
After a brief lecture, students spent the majority of their time in breakout rooms, working in their preferred event of CD, LD, or Speech. Coach Justin, our new senior instructor, was also introduced.
Meeting 20 4/10/21:
This meeting marked our 6th official meeting of our Spring Session. In this meeting we followed the same procedure as before, where students started with group activities then focused on specific skills in breakout rooms afterwards. The Youth Voices Summer Camp was previewed, as well as our participants for the Middle School Tournament of Champions.
Meeting 21 4/24/21:
In this meeting students participated in an interactive activity called Bartering. Students were split into four teams, each representing a different case. Students discussed with their team, and bartered for cards that are relevant to their case. This activity focused on improving skills related to arranging evidence and creating claims that were focused on the current case topic.
Meeting 22 5/14/21:
This meeting marked our 8th official meeting of our Spring Session. In this meeting, students engaged in a fun activity known as “Argument Scavenger Hunt”. This activity focused on strengthening students’ abilities to locate strong, relevant warrants and impacts in an argument. We also discussed the 5 main ways to weigh impacts against each other.
Meeting 23 5/21/21:
This meeting marked the final meeting of our Spring Session. The first half of the meeting was the Idyllic Art event held in partnership with Idyllic Art, a student run organization. The second remaining half of the meeting was an overview of the growth and accomplishments of Youth Voices in the past year. We also said our goodbyes to instructors Simren Mahajan, Parveen Mundi, Anna Xie, Nick Chen, as well as president William Ma. A new slate of teachers were also introduced.
Meeting 24 6/26/21:
This meeting marked the beginning of our second Summer Session. Students first watched a competitive mock debate round between our new nine all-star coaches from around the state. Afterwards, students were split up into breakout rooms, and had discussions on the Trolley Problem. This exercise focused on advocating for one's side, and getting comfortable with having disagreements with others.