East Mountain High School students, Emma Hotz ’18, Jessie Linder ’17, and Gina Sanchez ’18, have advanced to the top sixteen teams in the International Public Policy Forum!
Founded in 2001 by the law firm of Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, the International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) is the only contest that gives high school students around the globe the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. Now jointly administered by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, this program is available to all public and private high schools for free.
The competition began in October, and the students had to submit a 2,800 word essay on the topic: GMOs are essential to global food security. After hundreds of essays were submitted from around the globe, EMHS qualified to the top 64 of all schools.
In the subsequent rounds, schools volley papers back and forth via e-mail. A panel of three judges review the essays in the order they were presented (affirmative constructive, negative constructive, affirmative rebuttal, negative rebuttal) and select the advancing teams. In the Round of 64, EMHS defeated Shenzhen Academy of International Education from Shenzhen, China. In the Round of 32, EMHS defeated Gimnazija Bezigrad High School from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Both wins were unanimous decisions for EMHS.
In the next round, EMHS faces Davidson Academy of Reno, Nevada. If they win this round, the team will earn an all-expense paid trip to New York City to debate the remaining eight teams in person.
Gina Sanchez notes, “Competing in this competition has been an incredible thrill. My research and writing skills have also made great improvements through this contest.” Coach Trey Smith adds, “These students have been writing and researching at a level usually reserved for Master’s level theses. I am incredibly proud of these three students, and it’s exciting to be one of only 16 teams left in this global competition.”