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Changing the World Through Discussion

Cara Eckholm first became interested in debate her freshman year of high school. She describes her introduction to debate, “I joined my high school debate team and I fell in love with increasing political engagement through discussion.” Now a soon to be senior at Princeton University Cara has been named one of Glamour Magazine’s top 10 college women for her incredible debate skills.

As a member of Princeton’s Politics and Debate club, Cara has debated against hundreds of competitors from around the world on a vast variety of topics. Cara attributes her success to those she has met and interacted with through debate teams. She explains, “I’ve worked with a lot of great people on my debate teams who have helped me over the years and I spend a lot of time thinking about my arguments.” She also went on to admit that there were times when she felt like quitting, but continued to push forward and until she eventually learned what works and what doesn’t.

What’s truly amazing about Cara is that she has used her talent to inspire others and change the world. Over the last couple of years she has spent time coaching students in Eastern Europe.  In this region, she hopes to encourage free thought in countries where it is not uniform for citizens to think for themselves. One of the things she learned from her experiences in Eastern Europe is how to tailor her lessons to the environment, due to the fact that many of the places she visited are far less privileged than Americans. In addition to her work overseas Cara helped organize a project to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and has participated in a variety of other projects.

As for the future, Cara plans to continue her work in Eastern Europe and apply for scholarships to go to graduate school. Through Cara’s dedication to her passion and community, she has made an impact on the world through debate and discussion.