MADISON, AL-- For the second year, The Bob Jones High School debate team is accomplishing an impressive task: eliminating teams from around the world to compete as an "elite finalist" in a global debate competition.
Students Jordan Cozby, Aditya Mathur and Kayla Buckelew are off to New York City to compete on an global debate stage at the International Public Policy Forum Debate, and they're making state history on the way.
"Alabama has never had a team represent the state, until last year, when we went. And now we're doing it again," said debate competitor Jordan Cozby.
The students will debate a topic you've probably heard a lot about in recent news, genetically modified organisms or GMO's and food security.
Cozby says reading through sources of a controversial topic has been a challenge.
"Sorting through some of the bias and getting to the heart of issue has been a real challenge in this topic in particular, but it's also been really educational," said Cozby.
One hometown advantage these students were able to tap into: the folks at Hudson Alpha.
"[The company] offered to look into anything they knew about GMO's and turns out they have a database and ongoing research; an excellent example of how genetics is really close to home," said debate competitor Aditya Mathur.
Unlike many schools, the BJHS debaters aren't required to take a debate class, these guys do this all on their own time in a debate club, which Cozby says is another advantage.
"The folks we have involved are really passionate, we have students who really care. I've always said the golden rule of debate is the amount of time you put is going to directly affect what you get out..that's why we're seeing really positive results come out," said Cozby.
The competition is April 2nd. The kids will be competing for a $10,000 grand prize.