WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 28, 2016) – Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full service business law firms, sponsored the second Broward County Public Schools debate initiative fundraising luncheon held on October 19, 2016.
As a long-standing supporter of the initiative, the firm contributed seed money as well as participated as a sponsor in 2015 and 2016. The debate initiative is a partnership between local businesses and school debate programs within Broward County.
Now in its fifth year of implementation, the initiative includes more than 90 schools and almost 10,000 students. It’s grounded in research that demonstrates the positive impact participation in debate has on student achievement. The initiative has helped increase the literacy scores of student participants by 25 percent and helped raise their GPAs by 10 percent. Furthermore, it’s been found that 98 percent of debaters graduate from high school and 95 percent of them go on to a four-year college.
“The impact the debate initiative has had on students across Broward County is immeasurable,” said George S. Lemieux, a former U.S. Senator and current chairman of Gunster’s board of directors. “The program has helped these young people develop certain skills they may not otherwise have developed. Gunster is proud to lead the charge toward making this initiative a long-term success in Broward County.”
LeMieux, who was a debater in high school, has been championing the debate initiative since its early stages and he, along with the firm, has been recognized for his support and leadership of the initiative. Most recently, he was honored with the 2016 Hall of Fame – Community Achievement Award by the Broward Education Foundation. In October, and the firm was honored with The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance‘s Education Partnership Award.
Because of the initiative, the National Speech & Debate Association is set to bring its annual tournament to Fort Lauderdale in 2018 for the first time, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
# # #
Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With over 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.