Born & raised in South Texas, Marissa Pena has been teaching high school speech & debate in the Houston area since 2015, specializing in individual events and Congressional Debate. She has coached a 2-time Congressional Debate State Champion (Texas), as well as an NSDA Congressional Debate National Finalist. Her students have gone on to attend prestigious public universities throughout Texas, as well as Ivy League universities throughout the country. Her love for her students and for debate stems from her own experience as an IE competitor at Harlingen South HS in Harlingen, TX, where she served as captain during her senior year. Marissa is very excited to be joining the Capitol Debate Staff in order to continue to utilize her leadership skills to encourage her students to learn the power of using their voices. In her free time, she loves to travel, bake, spend time with her family, and go hiking with her dog, Kira (who she wishes she could bring to camp this summer!). She has her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Texas State University, and she will start pursuing a Master of Arts in Counseling at Sam Houston State University in Fall 2019.