Our History

about early scholars

Early Scholars Speech & Debate (ESSD) is a subsidiary company of Early Scholars, Inc., an out of school enrichment company founded  in 2012 by husband and wife duo, Dr. Erin Jacques and Mr. Jean-Claude Jacques.  With a focus on academic and socio-emotional excellence, Early Scholars Speech & Debate Society was launched in 2014 with a single goal: to help students become real, effective world communicators; to persuasively express their ideas and successfully navigate interpersonal relationships. By 2015, ESSD elementary debaters won a top sweepstakes honor in Public Forum, a tournament held by the largest citywide debate league in the nation. In May of 2016, ESSD began competing in the Parliamentary division and won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place honors; the Early Scholars Debate Team was named the Top Elementary Parliamentary and Public Forum Debaters in New York City. At the request of the parent community whose children were graduating, in the summer of 2018 ESSD began training students for the NYCUDL Middle School Public Forum tournaments. From the start, our program was a two pronged approach where students received a combination of online courses and onsite trainings from top debate coaches. We hand pick and select the most talented debate coaches from top university debate clubs in the US.Over the course of the 2018- 2019 season, ESSD debaters had a series of prodigious individual and team victories, culminating in being named the 2nd place overall best team in NYC.

After a summer of using their talents to train and compete in Innovation Pitch Competitions in their community, ESSD debaters returned to debate well equipped. At the start of the 2019-2020 season, ESSD debaters won 1st place team and 1st and 2nd place speaker awards as they debated resolved: The European Union should join the Belt and Road Initiative. Local and regional tournaments were no longer enough. ESSD began attending National Tournaments, earning a winning record at Harvard’s National Invitational Tournament, and winning 1st and 2nd place speaker awards at Lakeland’s Westchester Classic.

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