[via 11alive.com]

Atlanta’s Great Debaters returned to Atlanta from Harvard University as champions after they participated in an annual residency hosted by the Harvard Debate Council. The Council holds a single-elimination tournament that allows students to apply the acquired knowledge and skills in competition.

The Harvard Debate Council divided the students into various teams who competed against youth from across the world including Asia, Europe, and Russia. Throughout the competition, ten of the 12 Atlanta teams advanced to the octo-finals, six went on to the quarter-finals while two teams competed in the semi-finals.

“Being a young, middle class, black, public school student from the South created a stigma that automatically set me back in comparison to the competition, most of who were international students or from predatory schools in the Northeast,” Jordan Thomas said.

Thomas, a student at Grady High School, brought home the first-place victory for the entire single-elimination tournament.