Sparking The Dream

Sparking the Dream | 05-30-23 | Coach Ryan Smith and Students From MCSCS and the International Mock Trial Championship Team Download

00:55 Download May 30th

via 6ABC-Action News- May 25, 2023

Mathematics Civics and Sciences Charter School Wins International Mock Trial Competition

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — They might just be some of the best debaters in the region – if not around the globe. This past weekend, students at Mathematics Civics and Sciences Charter school took first place over 70 teams in an international mock trial competition.

The win was a bright spot for the North Philadelphia school that has been no stranger to tragedy and loss over the last five years.

Just about everyday, the mock trial team practices in their mock courtroom.

This past school year, they placed first in three of four of their competitions – winning a state tournament at the University of Pennsylvania in January, 2023.

Most recently, they grabbed the top spot at an international mock trial championship hosted by Empire Mock Trial.

“We’re known now around the entire world,” said team captain Cayla Waddington.

Waddington won a gold medal for best closing argument in the country this past November.

The accolades did not come without hard work, including preparing from 200 page case files received a month before competitions.

“We have to set up a case. We have to make a good an concise argument that summarizes all the facts in the case for jury,” said Waddington. “It takes weeks, days, and long hours of writing.”

“It’s great to be able to celebrate a win, when so often we hear about losses. The past couple of years we’ve had some loses,” said Coach Ryan Smith.

In the last six years, the school has lost a handful of kids to senseless crimes, including an eighth grader who was shot to death earlier this month in Lawncrest.

The team’s championships are a bright spot against the backdrop of city crime.

“In lieu of the tragedies that we’ve faced losing students, we teach them to do positive things to help, as opposed to hurt,” said school founder and Chief Administrative Officer, Veronica Joyner.

And while this year was a rebuild for the team after having several seniors graduate, they’re already working towards a repeat.

“Another win. That’s what we’re looking forward to and that’s what we’re going to get,” said Isaiah Paulin.

The team will have 3 spots open in the fall from those departing seniors. Their next competition is in November.

Check out their Instagram page HERE

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