Sandburg senior is always up for a debate
BY CHERYL DANGEL BARTOLINI Correspondent February 8, 2013 11:18AM
Stellar student profile of Grant Lewis at Sandburg High School in Orland Park, IL on Monday December 3, 2012. He is active on the Debate team. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 12, 2013 6:01AM
There are always two sides to an argument, and Grant Lewis is prepared to argue them both.
“My mom says I’ve been debating with her since I was 3, so debate would be a perfect club for me,” said Lewis, a senior at Sandburg High School in Orland Park.
He took his mother’s advice to heart and joined Sandburg’s debate team.
“Public speaking wasn’t a thing for me until I started debate and now I like public speaking and the competition,” Lewis said. “I also enjoy the topics we discuss because I’m interested in government and politics.”
Lewis, 17, said he has always been skilled at presenting his side of an argument, and now, thanks to his experience in debate, he has become quite an expert in current events.
He became interested in potential debate topics, such as government and politics, as a sophomore.
“I’m interested in everything that’s going on in the world and how you can be a part of it,” he said.
To prepare for a debate, he’ll watch the news, do research on the Internet and read full government reports. Recently, he debated about the Middle East and U.S. involvement there.
“You have to get rid of your bias because your bias can’t be seen in a round,” Lewis said. “You have to advocate for your side and be well-versed on both the pro and the con. You have to know and be able to argue both sides equally.”
Lewis excels academically, is a member of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory, a member of the newspaper staff, mathletes, First Class Leader, National Honor Society, Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering, Junior Engineering Technical Society and has played on the basketball and baseball teams.
As a member of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory, Lewis is among 20 to 30 students who meet monthly to discuss issues going on in school.
“The superintendent wants the students’ perspective. We bring issues to the forefront and try to tell them our perspective and what the school needs to do to help us,” he said.
Lewis says his parents, Kim and David Lewis, of Orland Park, are his mentors.
“Whenever I have a problem, they help me out. They know what I can handle. If I have too much going, they put a halt on it. They know my limits, where I don’t really know my limits,” he said.
His goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree in business, followed by a master’s degree.
“I’d like to be a writer for a think tank or work as an economic consultant for The Brookings Institution that covers governmental or foreign policy,” he said.
To date, trying to keep up his grades so he can get into a good college has kept him focused. He’s already been accepted at Indiana University and is hoping to choose between it and Washington University in St. Louis or the University of Notre Dame.
“I’ve always tried to do my best in everything I’ve done,” he said. “I feel like we’re all given a gift. You try to use it to the best of your ability and not use it incorrectly.”