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The City Club remains committed to sharing our work with the region's youngest residents. Often, the questions posed by students are among the most pointed and resonant questions and the forums produced by our Youth Forum Council bring a younger perspective to national issues.

There are four ways for high school students to become involved with the City Club:

  • Student Participation Program
  • Youth Forum Council
  • Annual High School Free Speech Essay Contest
  • Annual High School Debate Championship

The City Club is proud to provide civic education to our region's future leaders. The following donors make Student Programs possible:

  • AT&T
  • Cyrus Eaton Foundation
  • The Laub Foundation
  • Spahr Charitable Trust
  • William M. Weiss Foundation

Want to join them? Support Student Programs here.

Student Participation Program

Over 30,000 students have participated in the Student Participation Program since its inception more than 30 years ago.

Students are always free at the City Club of Cleveland.

All on-site forums are open to students for free and include lunch. The forums begin at 12:00 p.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m.

Interested in attending a forum? Just email Julia Wang and with your name, school, forum date and number of students.

Youth Forum Council

The City Club of Cleveland Youth Forum Council truly enhances the regular school’s civics curriculum to a “classroom without walls”. Stimulating critical thinking about American public policy, international relations, environmental concerns, and numerous other issues is vital in today’s society and the Youth Forum Council provides a rare opportunity for students to explore these topics together.

If learning democratic leadership skills by working with students from diverse geographical, religious, racial, and cultural backgrounds sounds interesting to you, please apply here.

For more information on the Youth Forum Council, please check out our Facebook page or Twitter. To read more about our past forums, check out our student-written blogs. For any questions about upcoming Youth Forums, please contact us at or call (216) 621-0082.

Free Speech Essay Contest

Every year The Hope and Stanley Adelstein Free Speech Essay Contest (est. 2013) challenges high school students to examine the role of free speech in the 21st century.

All high school students in Northeastern Ohio are eligible to apply for scholarship prizes. Essays should pull from personal experience, current events, history, politics, art, anything really so long as they are backed up with evidence. Essays will be judged on their clarity, content, originality, and significance.

This year's contest is now LIVE. To view more details, see our blog post here.

High School Debate Championship

For over two decades, the City Club has hosted the annual High School Debate Championships. While most high school students are watching basketball finals and preparing for spring break, these enterprising students prepare for the High School Debate Championships, as well as for state and national competitions. The City Club gives them the opportunity to show off their skills. Every year, the top two area high school debaters square off in a classic "Lincoln-Douglas" style debate at a Friday Forum. This gives the debaters the opportunity to compete not only for the judges and the audience in the room, but also for our radio and television audiences. Debate teams from across Northeast Ohio are invited to attend as guests of the City Club and BakerHostetler. 

The High School Debate Championship is sponsored by BakerHostetler in memory of Patrick J. Jordan. Mr. Jordan was a partner of the firm and an outstanding debater in high school.

The 2018 High School Debate Championship will take place on March 16, 2018. View last year's debate here.

Want to know who is speaking next at the City Club? Sign up here.

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