Boston Debate League

From Charlestown Debate Team to Suffolk Law School

February 9, 2023 | By Sayyida Jean-Charles

BDL Alumni Pursing their Juris Doctor

Boston Debate League Alumni Joshua Rosa is working towards their Juris Doctor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA. Before pursuing their law degree, Rosa was awarded a full-tuition POSSE scholarship and earned their bachelor’s degree in Politics and Spanish at Centre College. The POSSE Foundation awards scholarships to students with exceptional academic and leadership skills.

While attending undergraduate school, Rosa reflected on how debate helped them overcome the culture shock they initially experienced attending Centre College in Kentucky. For three years, they were an active debater at Charlestown High School, served as the Team Captain, and were a part of the Charlestown Trio. Being the only person of color in a classroom made them feel their voice was limited; however, their experience from debate sparked their confidence to speak up and engage more in class and around campus. “Debate helped them expand their vocabulary, improve their critical thinking skills, become a well-rounded student, and open the doors to opportunities.”

They knew from a young age that they wanted to pursue law school, but joining the Charlestown debate team gave Rosa their first formal introduction to law school. “[They] worked hard, read through evidence…it [felt] really good and fulfilling to know [they were] representing a side, presenting facts and synthesizing different arguments to support [their] side.” Debate guided them to their passion for helping and advocating for their community.

“You’re a part of a bigger community. Once the round is over, I encourage you [debaters] to talk and learn from each other.”
– Joshua Rosa

Rosa cherishes their time as a debater and advises students to “live in the moment, losing one debate [round] is not going to define you…what matters are the skills you are learning and what you are taking in from experience.”

After our interview, we were happy to learn that Joshua Rosa secured an externship at Primark. Congratulations, Joshua!