Type to search

Education National News

Marietta High School student wins Harvard debate


Trina Whitaker, a 16-year-old junior at Marietta High School, recently achieved an outstanding feat by emerging as the winner of the 2023 Harvard Debate competition. 

Her remarkable accomplishment was made possible as a member of a 38-student team assembled by the Atlanta-based Veritas Debate Institute. 

The team journeyed to Cambridge, Massachusetts from July 19 to 20, where they pitted their skills against approximately 70 other teams representing various parts of the world, and emerged victorious.

Facing formidable competition, Trina’s efforts stood out even more impressively as she competed against over 200 students, as highlighted by Marietta High School Principal Marvin Crumbs. He expressed his pride in her achievement, stating, “We’re so proud of Trina and her amazing accomplishment. It excites me when our students take advantage of great summer programs like this one… She represented Marietta High School, her family, and this community well. She’s a true champion.”

The Veritas website notes that this marks the fifth consecutive year that scholars from Atlanta, affiliated with the Veritas team, have secured victory in the Harvard debate competition. The Veritas Debate Institute operates as part of the Veritas School of Social Sciences, a college preparatory program on Saturdays, tailored for Black and Brown youth in the metro Atlanta area.

Trina expressed that the experience was both exhilarating and demanding. She mentioned that her opponents grew progressively more challenging, as they were frequently matched with teams boasting comparable or even superior records. Many of her debate counterparts had honed their skills over several years of study and practice.

What makes Trina’’s victory even more impressive is the fact that she started her journey in June, as noted by Marietta High School Assistant Principal Jeffery O’Neal. He characterized her achievement as “phenomenal” and praised her tenacity, intelligence, and dedication.

Trina’s  future aspirations include attending law school, aligning with the legacy of her grandfather and mother who attended the University of Pennsylvania. In terms of her undergraduate education, she is currently considering Howard University and Columbia University, with her final decision yet to be made. Her father, Jason Whitaker, expressed his pride and optimism, remarking, “I’m extremely proud of the young woman she’s become.”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *