We went to the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital for the Matthew Harris Ornstein Memorial Summer Debate Camp Awards Ceremony. The inaugural camp was hosted by the Washington Urban Debate League (WUDL) and the DC chapter of the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL) and was established with the help of donations from the friends and family of Matthew Harris Ornstein, who tragically passed away at the age of 34. We snapped Matthew’s parents, Judy Harris and Norm Ornstein, surrounding WUDL president Chris Mahoney and Matthew’s former debate coach, Jim Gentile.
Matthew was a champion high school debater who believed in the power of debate to bring people together, foster teamwork, and cultivate skills critical to academic and social success. High school students from DC and PG County learned valuable debate skills in the five days of the camp to take back to school and form their own teams. Here, Horace Mann School’s John Gentile, WUDL board member Adriel Sanders and Reed Smith’s Victor Mwimanzi.
Each lab had a winning finalist and the top award was given to the student who best demonstrated the kindness, individualism, competitive spirit and respect for opponents that made Matthew so special. Here, camp director Luke Hill with his lab students, Kalongi Coleman, Jalynn Thomas, Hannah Scofield and Josie Williams. An ice cream social followed the ceremony.
The camp was free for all attendees, all inner city public school kids from DC and PG County, who also got free breakfast and lunch each day. Here, NAUDL’s Natanya Meyer, Baltimore Urban Debate League’s Trinya Smith, and Maria Cedillo.