Soft-spoken Charisma Coles found the power of her voice in debate. Although she started in the novice division, the 6th grade student now debates varsity, competing against other top students in the program. Success in debate has bolstered her confidence and strengthened her conviction. The 2012 Distinguished Winner of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Writing Competition for the Middle School division, she read her winning essay on unsung Civil Rights leaders at the Walter’s Art Museum. Representing her school at the Transform Baltimore rally, she spoke about the building conditions at her school to the press, City representatives, and community members.