Poria Dorali: A Way With Words

Poria Dorali

Poria Dorali

By Lauren Dante Benoit –

A senior at Travis High School, Poria Dorali has a way with words.  A member of the Debate team and the Academic Decathlon team, Poria is able to eloquently discuss and debate current events, past events and ethical issues.  Poria is knowledgeable, thoughtful and poised due to his experiences on these teams.

The Debate team and the Academic Decathlon team require a great amount of studying, in addition to his classwork studies. However, Poria manages to excel both in the classroom and in his extracurricular studies. He is currently ranked in the top 3% of his class and challenges himself by taking AP classes in a variety of subjects.  His favorite subject is English because he enjoys Socratic Seminars. The Socratic Seminars allow Poria to express his point of view while also understanding other people’s thoughts on particular issues.

Poria excels at Socratic Seminars because they require similar skills that he has mastered on the debate team. He joined the debate team as a freshman after his friend, Eric, introduced him to the idea in middle school. During his freshman year, Poria competed in Lincoln-Douglas Debate (LD) and Extemporaneous Speaking.

After his freshman year, Poria decided to try Public Forum Debate, rather than LD Debate. Public Forum Debate is a partner debate that discusses current events, which requires an extensive amount of studying.  Poria spent three hours a day studying for this event.

During his junior year, Poria won first place in Extemporaneous Informative Speaking at the District UIL contest and qualified for the State Competition.  He excels on the international topics because his parents are from Iran.  At home, Poria watches Al Jazeera and frequently reads about foreign affairs.

As a senior, Poria will continue to compete with his friend, Eric, in the Public Forum Debates. He strives to once again attend the State Competition.  “Debate exposed me to many new things and helped me excel in my high school career,” said Poria.  “It taught me how to write essays, the importance of timeliness on assignments and a good work ethic.”

For Poria, the Academic Decathlon is similar to Debate.  Both of these activities take an extensive amount of preparation and knowledge on particular topics. “The Academic Decathlon competition has made me a diverse and well-rounded student,” said Poria. “This competition has encouraged me to become more proficient in subject areas that are less familiar to me, like music and art.”  In addition to taking a test over subject matter, students also give a prepared speech over any subject matter and are interviewed by judges to test their interview skills. Poria feels that his education has been positively impacted by his participation in Academic Decathlon.

To further enhance his love of science and his passion for learning, Poria joined the Science National Honor Society (SNHS) during his sophomore year. As a member of SNHS, Poria must maintain a good GPA, take a level II science course, tutor students in science and earn points by attending meetings, events and tournaments.  Poria’s favorite event is the Mad Science event where the members share cool aspects of physics, chemistry and biology with middle school students.  He is the Activities Manager this year and responsible for overseeing volunteering activities and the Mad Science event.

In addition to SNHS, Poria is also a member of National Honor Society and English Honor Society and plans on attending the University of Houston next fall to major in Biochemistry. Eventually, he plans to transfer to another school with a nanotechnology program. His dream job is to find a cure for current incurable diseases.  “With the gifts that God has given me, I feel like it is my responsibility to make this world a better place,” said Poria. “I want to be part of a scientific program, such as nanotechnology, that makes a difference in society.”

We can’t wait to see the difference that Poria makes in the future! With his intelligence, ability to express himself and genuine love of learning, Poria has a bright future!