People of Patriot: From Another Angle

Yamini Babu actively works to understand different perspectives when debating.

People of Patriot: From Another Angle

A young Yamini Babu sits on the couch with her father. It’s midnight, and they’re still up watching the Presidential debate. As the debate gets heated in the background, Yamini and her father argue about the candidates’ views. 

Watching political debates as a child sparked Babu’s passion for debate as she enjoys learning about the different angles concerning various topics. 

“Politics have always been a big part of my life,” Babu said. “I appreciate learning new perspectives.”

Now, Babu is a sophomore, and one of the founders of Patriot’s Debate Team. Debate is an activity that Babu sees herself incorporating into her life in the future as well. She wants debate to be a skill that she continues to build up.

“Starting the debate team with Tony Aleman [Babu’s friend] has created a lot of growth in my life, it’s strengthened my leadership skills,” Babu said. “I’m glad that we were rejected so many times because it’s taught me perseverance.”

Babu and Aleman asked multiple teachers to sponsor the debate team, going door to door after school, and continuing to knock on doors even when they were shot down so many times. However, both Aleman and Babu have expressed appreciation for it because as tough as it was at the time, it taught them determination. 

Babu is a confident speaker, showing obvious leadership skills when she speaks at the debate meetings she and Tony run with Ms. Phillips. However, as easy as she makes it seem, she once struggled with public speaking as well. 

I’m always comfortable talking to a small group of people or one on one, but in big groups of people, I can’t make my points clearly,” Babu said. “ I feel very nervous even if I look comfortable. Being in debate has made me more comfortable and confident in a public setting when speaking.”

Being a leader is a trait Babu has held for as long as she can remember, and it’s one of the things that she connects strongly with. 

Besides debate, Babu has a broad range of interests, one of them being humanities. She finds literature, history, and anything in that field appealing. Some of her pastimes include reading and playing tennis. She also has musical interests, some of which include her playing the violin and electric guitar.

In particular, Babu enjoys dancing, and does multiple styles of dance. 

“I also do Indian cinematic dancing, contemporary American dancing, and Hip-Hop,” Babu said. “I’ve been dancing since I was three.”

Babu’s family also pushes her to be her best self, and follow her aspirations and become what she wants to be in debate and throughout life, her identity as a woman-of-color has also shaped her experience in the debate world.

“I definitely see that women are perceived in a different way when debating,” Babu said. “I think it’s getting better in general. When women say something it can get twisted, and we are taught from a young age to be cautious with our words, or when addressing something. My family teaches me to break boundaries and look beyond to become something in life.”

10 Quick Q’s with Yamini Babu

What’s your favorite thing about fall?

I love how the leaves change. It’s like an end to a new beginning.

Are you a pessimistic or optimistic person?

Optimistic, ever since I was a kid. I’ve grown up thinking you can’t achieve anything if you believe you won’t be able to. Perseverance is super important. The key to success is to keep failing. 

What is your favorite Disney movie?


What’s something you are obsessed with?

Reading, I loved “A Court of Thorns & Roses Series,”

What’s your favorite way to waste time?

Reading, and watching Criminal Minds. She finds human psychology very fascinating. 

What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?

Jumping through different dimensions and waking up and dreaming about it over and over and over again. 

If you could be any mythical character, what would you be?

I’d be a fae. There’s a lot of myths to them and they’re a really broad creature. 

If you could make a documentary, what would it be about?

The universe and how everything is interconnected and the way the mind works and is connected to the universe. 

What’s your favorite kind of cereal?


What’s your name and why is it your name?

It’s Yamini. My parents wanted a name with our Indian culture rooted in it. They found the name with a family friend when looking through a book of names. Yamini means “beautiful night sky.”