About Us (Primary)

About Us

Check out our history, progress, vision, and how you can support.

Founded in 2017, NextGen Debate started with a vision: Free debate opportunities for everyone. 

Karen Flaherty coached debate for Anthony Schneider when he was in 7th grade. He continued debate through high school and often came back to volunteer throughout college. Years later, Ms. Flaherty and Anthony decided to start a new program that focuses on growing the debate community and bringing us all together. 

NextGen Debate is founded on the principles of inclusion, professionalism, and a welcoming culture. We knew that by registering the program as a nonprofit, we could gain more financial support that would in turn, benefit the debaters. 

We are the first to bring debate to high schools in the Coachella Valley and we may be the only program in the world to offer debate completely free.


As of 2022, we have reached 14 different schools in the Coachella Valley. Six of these schools formed a debate class for their students as an elective.

Including both our middle and high schools, we currently host 8 tournaments and one workshop annually. 

In addition to free events, resources, and coaching, NextGen Debate prides itself on offering free lunch during our events. We acquire food, trophies, and other contractual work through local vendors. 


Debate communities are scarce and small making up less than 2% of all high schools in the United States. Often times these communities follow different rules making it difficult to collaborate with other debate leagues. 

NextGen Debate is inclusive, communicative, professional, and organized. We established an online community so that members can connect with their peers across city, county, and state lines. Online courses allow users to learn at their own pace and quickly find content that is applicable to them. Judges, students, and coaches can now earn certificates that reflect their debate experience. A smooth registration process allows administrators to collect a list of contact information and have an accurate count of all their members. Members can also organize their own social groups, chat forums, and upload documents and photos to share with the whole team. Our new digital surveys give members the power to make critical program decisions. We hope these features open doors and knocks down any barriers separating us from each other. 

We aspire to help form new debate leagues and invite existing ones to join our community. NextGen Debate wants to host more cross league events. 

Support Us

There are multiple ways to support us in our mission. Our program runs off volunteers and we could use all the help we can get. We need volunteers to judge, teach, help setup/take down events, run the snack bar, create videos, manage social media, and so much more! If you have a special talent that can improve NextGen Debate please let us know! Start by registering yourself as a volunteer or reach out to us directly. 

 Additionally, we need financial support to purchase awards, food, debate supplies, and support our powerful online features. Your financial donations are tax deductible and we accept all forms of payment. Click below to donate online or mail us a check to “54170 Avenida Cortez, LQ, CA 92253.” 

Help spread the word about this amazing program to other middle and high schools. Signing up is completely free!

For Any Inquiries:

Phone/Text: 760 544-2191

Email: hello@nextgendebate.org