For the past 8 weeks I was the lead facilitator for a Youth Leadership program for a half dozen teens from 13 – 17 years old that was sponsored by my Toastmasters home club.

I’m a big fan of Toastmasters. Say what you will on the “hokey clubs”, my fellow Clark County Toastmasters have created something special. We’ve created a safe space to truly grow our speaking without the exorbitant fees. For a single mom with a mission driven business, it’s helped greatly. Especially these days with some coaches and mentors becoming confiscatory, it’s refreshing to be able to attend a weekly collaboration with other professionals intent on building leadership and communication skills together.

Because Toastmasters International already established an outstanding curriculum and created workbooks and a guide for the coordinator, I was able to do this without too much preparation and still pull off a professional experience for these budding youth leaders.

I’ve not been a teen for nearly 40 years. So to say there’s a gap is an understatement.

Although my teen boys joined this program, I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect. We had a mix of energies and temperaments.  And a perfect balance of boys to girls. That’s made it fun to observe the dynamic there as well. Because the group was not too big, but also not too small, no “clicks” formed. It seemed that each individual was just that, a unique and interesting individual.

I’m still processing the experience and will write more as I will be giving a speech at my club on the whole event.

But I wanted to share today how much I admire and appreciate my boys. They’ve got very specific goals and can do much of their learning on their own, but they are always willing to participate in expansive activities like this, even if they balk and protest at the beginning.

Isn’t that how it often is with any of us? We dip our toe in, get the feel for it. If we’ve got someone who has our best interest or at least has our back, we can dive in fully?

I’d like to think that I can do that for more and more youth as I shift into a new role in my own energy.

Excited to see how things unfold as we help inspire and nurture new leaders, with truth, integrity, respect, service and excellence.

That’s the Toastmasters way.