FDT celebrates a fantastic year at our 2nd Annual gala

FDT celebrates a fantastic year at our 2nd Annual gala

In June, FDT held its 2nd ever annual gala at the Pinnacle Hotel. Attendees enjoyed a night of games, celebrations, and even a musical performance from our own Founder and CEO Frankie Cena. Most importantly we were able to look back at the year and recognize the excellence of our students and staff. Here are highlights from the evening!

For the first time ever FDT gave out awards to instructors. The award for New Instructor of the Year went to Panthea Pourmalek. And the award for Instructor of the Year went to Anna Saint, with runner up Jacqueline Belzberg.

FDT then recognized the outstanding students who had qualified to national events. For qualifying to Junior Speech Nationals we recognized Katherine Feng, Eric Li, Nora Zhu, Jena Yue, Natalie Viegas, and Hailey Chen. For qualifying to Junior Debate Nationals we recognized Eric Li, Jonathan Chu, Jessie Liu, Alex Logan, Natalie Viegas, and Sean Oh. We recognized Angelina Zhang, Nicholas Viegas, Joyce Chen, and Anthony Chu for qualifying to Senior Speech Nationals and Bianca Dammholz, Maggie MacInnis, Kiran Basra, Angelina Zhang, and Emily Ni for qualifying to BP Nationals. For qualifying to Senior Debate Nationals we recognized Bianca Dammholz, Saara Meghji, Leo Wang, Judy Rhee, Allan Lee, and Jamin Feng while recognizing Emily Ni, Nikki Wu, Vivian Gu, Angelina Zhang, and Kiran Basra for competing at French Debate Nationals. Finally, we recognized Jason Guo and Jamin Feng for qualifying to try out for the Canadian National Debating Team at National Qualifiers and Angelina Zhang and Nicholas Viegas who represented Canada at the Worlds Individual Public Speaking and Debate Championships.

For the first time FDT awarded special honours for students who pushed the bar of excellence for a variety of reasons. First we named the students who made an impact with FDT despite being new to our academy. Our Best New Novice Student was Amy Ren. Our Best New Junior Student was Edward Gao. Finally our Best New Senior Student was Emily Ni.

Next we named our students who have through hard work, showed remarkable improvement throughout the year. Our Most Improved Novice Student was Ivy Ye. Our Most Improved Junior Student was Emily Qiu. And our Most Improved Senior Student was Grace Lee.

After we announced students who have set a bright example for others with their leadership, work ethic, and story. Our Most Inspiration Novice Students were Cynthia and Athena Yu. Our Most Inspirational Junior Student was Alice Xu. And our Most Inspirational Senior Student was Angela Lu!

Finally we were pleased to announce which students had won FDT’s highest honour: Student of the Year. Our Novice Student of the Year for 2018/2019 is Matthew Yu. Our Junior Student of the Year is Eric Li. And finally, our Senior Student of the Year is Jason Guo!

This year has been FDT's best so far and we look forward to a bright future in 2019/2020!

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FDT team makes Semi-Finals at Harvard World Schools Invitational

FDT team makes Semi-Finals at Harvard World Schools Invitational

FDT is just finishing up an exciting weekend at one of the world's most competitive debate tournaments, the Harvard World Schools Invitational. We are so proud to announce that FDT Purple finished 4th overall, in a field of 62 of the world's best teams including the national teams of many countries. Congratulations to Alice Xu, Aurora Zhang, Jena Yue, and Athens Wu for their hard work in not only breaking to Octo-Finals, but fighting their way to the Semi-Finals where they lost to the Canadian National Team. What's even more astounding is that these girls are only in Grade 8 and Grade 9!

More than that we want to congratulate Saara Meghji and Angelina Zhang, who were debating for the Canadian National Team and made it to the Octo-Finals, as well as Allan Lee, whose team made it to the Quarter-Finals. Moreover, the Danish National Debate Team coached by Frankie Cena, Dena Tabyanian, and Arsalan Ghaemi, made it to the Quarter Finals! For speaker awards we want to congratulate Allan Lee for placing as the 7th best speaker overall, Saara and Angelina who tied for 8th place speaker overall, and Aurora Zhang who was named the 5th best novice speaker.

We are so proud of students and their hard work and of course their success wouldn't be possible without the hard work of their chaperones and coaches. Well done guys!

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FDT students Lauren Meikle and Emily Ni named provincial champions

FDT students Lauren Meikle and Emily Ni named provincial champions

FDT ended up sending over 30 of it’s students to the BC Provincial Debate Championships that were held this weekend in Victoria, BC and we have some great results to announce after a very tough and competitive weekend of debate. We want to congratulate Leo Wang and Judy Rhee who were named the 4th place senior team in the province, and Allan Lee and Jamin Feng who came in 6th. In the junior category we want to recognize Lauren Meikle and Emily Ni for their outstanding achievement in being named the Champion junior team. Moreover, congrats to Peter Zhang who was the top junior speaker and Lauren Meikle who came in 5th place. We also want to congratulate David Xia who was named the 3rd place novice speaker and Jerry Zhang, who came in 4th place.  We will also be sending multiple teams to the national debate championships! Eric Li and Jonathan Chu, Alex Logan and Jessie Liu, and Sean Oh, will be going on to the Junior Debate Championships later this year in Quebec. Allan Lee and Jamin Feng, along with Judy Rhee and Leo Wang will be advancing to the Senior National Debate Championships in Halifax later this year. We wish all our teams the best of luck!

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7 FDT students qualify for Public Speaking Nationals

This weekend was the annual BC Provincial Speech Championships. We have exciting news to share with you. 7 FDT students will be going to Speech Nationals this year. We are pleased to announce that in the Senior Division, Angelina Zhang came 4th overall, Judy Rhee came 5th, Anthony Chu came 6th.

In the Interpretative Reading category Anthony came 3rd and Judy was a Finalist. In the Impromptu Speech category Anthony came 1st and Angelina came 2nd. In Debate, Angelina came 2nd.

In the Junior Division Nora Zhu came 3rd, Katherine Feng came 5th, Jena Yue came 6th,  and Eric Li came 7th.

In the Interpretative Reading category Katherine came 2nd while Jena was a Finalist. In the Impromptu Speech category Nora came 2nd, and Eric was a Finalist. In Persuasive Speech Jena came 2nd. In Debate, Katherine came 2nd and Eric 3rd.

We are so happy with all our students and their amazing work. Now begins the hard work to prepare for Nationals!

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FDT students and instructors support Canada Sunshine Foundation

FDT students and instructors support Canada Sunshine Foundation

On October 19 several of our instructors and staff were invited to the inaugural Canada Sunshine Foundation Establishment and Awards Ceremony in Richmond. Anna, Arsalan, Bianca, Cathy, and Tonya all enjoyed this excellent event and Arsalan even had the opportunity to deliver a moving and inspirational speech about the importance of youth and giving back to the community.

Several of our own students are members of the Canada Sunshine Foundation. They were presented awards by our instructors at the ceremony and they were celebrated for raising over $3,000 for the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice which provides palliative care to children and families in BC.

We are so grateful to have been part of an event that celebrates such important accomplishments and look forward to an even bigger and better event next year.

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FDT student joins the US National Debate Squad

FDT student joins the US National Debate Squad

FDT has had over a dozen students on the Canadian National Debating Team so far in our history but this week we reached another milestone: our first student to make the US National Debating Team.

FDT's own Victor Tong has been selected to join the development team, and Victor will in the future, have a chance to make the full team and represent the USA at competitions around the world. Victor was selected among just 11 other students, which is impressive considering how many excellent debaters compete in the US.

We wish Victor the best of luck on Team USA!

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Ashley Phord-Toy follows her passion to sunny Stanford University

Ashley Phord-Toy follows her passion to sunny Stanford University

This week we interviewed Ashley Phord-Toy. Ashley has had a checkered record in debate; she has won countless tournaments and represented Canada at international competitions several times in places like Australia, South Africa, and Croatia.

But what made her choose Stanford University in California over the ivy-covered campuses of the East Coast? And what is behind her now 5-year long passion for debate? Visit our website to find out more!

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We celebrate a successful year with our first ever Gala!

We celebrate a successful year with our first ever Gala!

A week ago FDT hosted our very first annual end of the year Gala. It was a wonderful evening full of games, moving speeches, and of course delicious food.

Seeing all of the generations of successful students present at the Gala truly demonstrated the longevity of FDT's goal and the strength of our mission.

We hope everybody enjoyed this fun-filled evening to cap off this year and from all of us at FDT, we look forward to another year full of success!

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Meet FDT's Students of the Year

Meet FDT's Students of the Year

At our Gala, we announced our students of the year. The FDT staff spent hours looking at students in 3 categories: Novice, Junior, and Senior, to choose one student in each who best exemplified the virtues of success and hard work. The task was daunting, to say the least, but we are so happy to announce the winners of this award.

Our Novice Student of the Year is Cynthia Wang.
Our Junior Student of the Year is Eric Li.
And finally, our Senior Student of the Year is Allan Lee!

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