Speak up. Speak out. Make a statement. Build your confidence and skills; become arguably the best you can be.

The Debate and Public Advocacy Institute is an unforgettable summer experience for high school students. Spend one week this summer at Wake Forest University building confidence speaking, arguing, and learning to passionately advocate for yourself and others. Students will engage in discussions about current events and learn skills such as persuasion, legal reasoning, and the art of communication. Whether in the classroom, the boardroom, in your community or in the halls of Congress, students will enjoy applying advocacy skills in whichever environment their future takes them.

Freshman Madeleine Langr ('15) and freshman Erica Duff ('15) of the Wake Forest University debate team prepare for the regional competition on Wednesday, February 8, 2012.

At a Glance

2024 Dates: Week of July 7 – 12* and week of July 14 – 19

*Waitlist has been implemented for the July 7 – 12 session of the 2024 Debate and Public Advocacy Institute.

Program Length: Sunday – Friday

Who Can Apply?: Current 9th – 12th grade students

Tuition: $2,800

Location: Winston-Salem, NC – Wake Forest University Campus

Online Immersion Program: Study online with Wake Forest anywhere, anytime, at your own pace.

*Courses carry no secondary school or college credit. Upon completion of the program, an official Wake Forest University Certificate of Completion will be awarded to all Debate and Public Advocacy Institute participants.

What You’ll Experience

Topics Covered:

  • Fundamentals of Argument
  • Rhetorical Tricks
  • Finding Your Voice
  • Social and Environmental Controversies
  • “Greatest” Debaters and Speakers

Hands-on Experiences:

  • Engage with guest speakers from business, politics, advertising and community organizations
  • Practice speaking for self-empowerment
  • Compete in debates on student-driven topics
  • Participate in candid, live discussions about timely topics with peers
  • Learn the preparation strategy for your next debate

*Hands-on experiences are subject to change.

A Day in the Life

Typical Daily Schedule
  • 8:00 am – Morning Meeting and Breakfast
  • 9:00 am – Welcome from Justin Green and Program Ambassadors
  • 9:30 am – Mechanics of Speaking
  • 10:30 am – Advocacy Group Guest Speaker
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 1:00 pm – Great Speeches throughout Time
  • 2:00 pm – Debate Preparation
  • 5:00 pm – Debrief for Next Day
  • 5:30 pm – Dinner
  • 6:30 pm – Evening Activities
  • 7:30 pm – Free Time
  • 9:00 pm – Prepare for Bed
  • 10:00 pm – Lights Out

*The “A Day in the Life” sample schedule is subject to change.

Meet the Academic Leader

New Wake Forest faculty members pose for headshots during their orientation on Wednesday, August 8, 2012. Justin Green, Communication.

Justin Green

Academic Leader, Debate and Public Advocacy Institute

Justin Green currently serves as the Head Coach for the Wake Forest Debate team and Professor of the Practice in Communication Studies. A secondary teacher by training and a debate and speaking coach by practice, Justin has combined these efforts to lead several workshops for students and teachers ranging from grades 3-16. He has coached the American Debate Association and Cross-Examination Debate Association National Champions as well as the four-time champion coach of the ACC. He is known for immense energy and an active classroom where students do more talking than “being quiet.” A graduate of Wake Forest University, Justin is excited to extend the campus to new guests each summer.