Dana Chen Expresses the Art of Persuasion on Beckman Debate Team

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Dana Chen Expresses the Art of Persuasion on Beckman Debate Team

Dana Chen's involvement in debate gave her excellent public speaking and argumentation skills.

Dana Chen's involvement in debate gave her excellent public speaking and argumentation skills.

Photo courtesy of Dana Chen.

Dana Chen's involvement in debate gave her excellent public speaking and argumentation skills.

Photo courtesy of Dana Chen.

Photo courtesy of Dana Chen.

Dana Chen's involvement in debate gave her excellent public speaking and argumentation skills.

Amelia Chung, Staff Writer

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Senior Dana Chen was forced into public debating by her parents when she was in fourth grade. At first, she was reluctant because she thought that it was going to be boring, but as she continued in public debating, she began to develop deep interests in public speaking and politics. “As I started to get better at it [debating], I became more passionate for it and the more I realize this is what I want to do when I grow up,” said Dana. “I just kept doing it, and eventually I fell in love with it.”

 

In the transition from elementary school to middle school, Dana continued to partake in speech and debate. She started to compete in national tournaments in 7th and 8th grade. In her freshman year, Dana and her brother founded the Beckman Debate Team because they realized that they were being disqualified from tournaments since they were not competing with an actual school. The club grew from two students to thirty students, each participating in different types of debate. “It’s really great because it’s kind of like a class now,” said Dana. “We could teach students and recruit them, and everything becomes very interesting and fun.”

 

Dana’s family and her group of close friends, who are also in debate, are her greatest supporters. They motivate her to continue in public debating. “I’ve met a lot of people through debate,” said Dana. “My closest friends are very competitive debaters alongside me all across the United States, so they are very supportive with the decisions I make.” Under the encouragement of her close friends, Dana gained confidence in debating and decided to enter more tournaments.

 

Being the captain of the Debate Team, Dana has been working very hard to help new and experienced debaters. During each meeting, she leads the team using “speaking drills” which practices being comfortable with one’s own voice and allows them to adjust their own speaking pace. She also encourages the team to practice on their own every day so that their skills will not fade. Her persistent hardworking attitude often inspires many students and serves the role model for the future debaters. Dana’s friend and senior Madison Hung stated, “Dana is very dedicated in debate, and it kind of inspired me to be involved in tournaments and debate club and help others too.”

 

Dana is also described as a great leader among her friends on the debate team. “She is going to pass the leadership role onto me and to other debaters, so she taught me a lot about being a leader,” commented junior Shira Silver, the rising captain of the debate team. “She also inspires me because I can see how much hard work she does just to keep the club going.”

 

Dana started off with Public Forum debate in 6th grade, but she decided to switch to other types of debate because she wanted to try something different. Currently, Dana and her partner, senior Gena Huynh, compete in Policy Debate.

 

Besides being the captain of the Debate Team, Chen is concertmaster of Beckman’s chamber orchestra, where she leads the first violin section. She also enjoys writing during her free time and writes for two online magazines outside of school: “Her Culture” and “Affinity.” The two magazines’ works are often cited in Huffington Post or Time Magazine. With Dana’s achievements in music, writing and debating, she certainly is a multi-talented individual with bright future ahead of her.

 

In the future, speech and debate will undoubtedly be part of Dana’s career. She is applying to the University of California, Berkeley’s political science major and hopes to become a successful lawyer. She will definitely continue to debate in college and will strive to take the valuable experiences she has accumulated over the years on the Debate Team and inspire others to enjoy the art of speaking and debating.

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Dana Chen Expresses the Art of Persuasion on Beckman Debate Team