The Cameron Baghai and Tara Norris Scholarship
June 30th, 2017
Dear LD Debate Community,
It is my pleasure to announce that the 2nd annual Cameron Baghai and Tara Norris Scholarship is open for applications for the upcoming 2017-2018 season. We have expanded the number of available scholarship spots on our team to 3 this year, and are pleased to announce that Sekou Cisse (Success Academy SC Class of 2018) will be returning as one of our 3 scholars. Sekou was a model Debatedrills Scholar—he prepared earnestly, competed fiercely, collaborated effectively with his teammates, and was humble and hungry to improve.
The remaining two spots are available to all competitors, but priority will be given to those who a) have financial need, b) are committed to succeeding on the National Circuit, c) come from a small (or non-existent) debate program and d) are rising seniors. We will accept applications until 11:59 PM PST, July 14th, and will make our final decisions on the winners by July 31st. this year.
Before I go on, I would like to give some background about Cameron (Rancho Bernardo CB ‘09) and Tara (Rancho Bernardo TN ’08). Both were national circuit debaters who were quintessential “lone wolves”. Despite lacking access to prep groups, not having the ability to travel on the national circuit (neither went to a tournament outside of California aside from TOC), and never being able to afford private coaches, both qualified to the TOC and achieved major national success. They were a tremendous source of inspiration to me personally and remain close friends to this day. They also embody the traits that debaters should aspire too: hard working, humble, passionate and intense. Cameron recently graduated from Yale Law School and Tara recently graduated from Harvard Law School. I would not have been able to accomplish what I have in competitive LD Debate as both a competitor and coach without their guidance. Debatedrills would not exist without Cameron and Tara, and this scholarship memorializes their contributions to LD Debate.
Last year, we had 22 students apply for two spots. Our winners, Sekou Cisse (Success Academy SC) and Claudia Riberia (Katy Taylor CR), had fantastic seasons and actively contributed to the direction and content of our Dropbox. This year, we anticipate the application process to be just as competitive. Our team will be capped at 25 team members and will have 6 coaches. We only have seven non-scholarship spots left—16 students have been admitted to next year’s team, and these students range from 9th graders entering circuit debate to 12th graders who we anticipate will be contenders at every major bid tournament in the country this year. If you are interested in applying to the Dropbox but don’t think you would be a competitive scholarship candidate, we highly recommend applying soon, since we operate on a rolling basis.
We look forward to reading your applications!