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Atlanta middle school students win Harvard National Forensics Debate 2021 Tournament

Cover photo: Rikhil Ranjit and Neha Mahesh with Coach Patrick of Ivy Bridge Academy.


Atlanta, GA, June 7, 2021: Rikhil Ranjit and Neha Mahesh were placed 1st and declared National Champions of the 47th Annual Harvard National Forensics Debate Tournament in the Middle School Public Forum division.

Around 600 middle school debaters from across the world participated in the three-day event virtually this year with multiple preliminary and elimination rounds.

The Harvard National Forensics Debate Tournament held every year, is the largest and most prestigious debate tournament in the country. It provides opportunities for students to compete in different debate formats. The debaters represent the best and brightest young people across the United States and the world. The topic for this year’s tournament was “On balance, the benefits of urbanization in West Africa outweigh the harms.”

Rikhil and Neha have been learning to debate since 3rd grade, developing skills for public speaking and critical thinking. Rikhil attends DeSana Middle School in Forsyth County and Neha attends Web Bridge Middle School in Fulton County.

Both winners said it was an excellent experience competing with teams from across the globe.

Rikhil and Neha were also declared National Champions of 2020-2021 Georgetown University Fall National Debate Tournament, University of Kentucky (UK) Season Opener, and most recently the Tournament of Champions (TOC) 2021 National Debate Tournament. Rikhil Ranjit received first Speaker award at the TOC 2021.


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