Students in the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) at Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational Institute have been stepping out of their comfort zone and participating in a youth leadership public speaking workshop provided by Toastmasters International. On Wednesday, February 11, the students will be completing their final day in the Toastmasters International Youth Leadership Program and will receive their certifications.
“This has been a wonderful opportunity for our students provided by Toastmasters International,” says David Olenik, Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational Institute Business Teacher. “Many of our students come from Northern communities and a lot of them have had to step outside of their comfort zones to participate in a program such as this. They have been extremely successful.”
The Youth Leadership Program is a workshop consisting of eight one- to two-hour sessions that enable participants to develop communication and leadership skills through practical experience. The program is presented during or after school, or on weekends.
Participants learn to:
- Evaluate present speaking ability
- Organize and give speeches
- Give impromptu talks
- Control voice, vocabulary and gestures
- Give constructive feedback and more
The local Toastmasters club, the Storytellers Group from Lakehead University, serves as sponsor and provides a coordinator to present the program. The individual coordinator attends each meeting, where he or she will lead most of the presentations and counsel participants. The coordinator assigns an assistant who can fill in for the coordinator should he or she be unable to attend a meeting. Meetings generally follow a format similar to that of a Toastmasters club meeting, including an announced agenda, practice in parliamentary procedure, and the selection of presiding officers.