Local Youth Public Speaking Camp focuses on anti-tobacco campaign

Local Youth Public Speaking Camp focuses on anti-tobacco campaign

Pictured are (l-r, front row) Arianna Davis, Marvin Davis, Kirby Gilmore, Alyssa Heiden; (second row) Destiny Bryant, Kayla Edouard; (third row) Deja Monroe, Edward Leonard and Teja Browning.

SOW Network, Girl Scout Troop 215 and the SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) at the Florida Department of Health in Miami, 18255 SW 184 St., joined forces to sponsor a Public Speaking Camp during the week of Aug. 5.

The camp explored the fundamentals of Public Speaking and allowed the students (ranging from seventh to 11th grade) to compete in the areas of “Off the Cuff” speaking, Evaluations and Prepared Speeches. They also presented a group power point presentation about anti-tobacco advocacy.

Participants in the five-day intensive Public Speaking Camp were afforded the opportunity to compete about three times daily against fellow participants.

Public Speaking Camp participants will receive charter membership to the newest Junior Toast Club; SWAT membership and an option to participate in Girl Scout Troop 215 along with entry into the Youth Speech Contest on Nov. 9. Public Speaking Camp participants also competed in mini contests in the abovelisted three categories. Winners were: Prepared Speech, Alyssa Heiden, grade 9, Robert Morgan Senior High; Off the Cuff Speech, Edward Leonard, grade 9, New World School of the Arts, and Evaluations, Deja Monroe, grade 12, Miami Southridge High.

Each contestant’s speeches were evaluated by staff and fellow camp participants.

When asked about the student’s progression during the week, Tiffany Willis- Gilmore, president and CEO of SOW Network said, “There was so much talent in the room. These children are all over-achievers and pushed themselves very hard during the week. Just when you thought they could not get any better, they always amazed me.”

She further articulated that she was impressed with the Volunteer Ambassadors — Deja Monroe, who serves as Senior Class president at Miami Southridge, and Marvin Davis, an honors student at Franklin Academy in Broward County.

“They kept things running smoothly and could relate to the needs of each participant,” Willis- Gilmore said.

“They were excellent overall and very determined to achieve their goals,” said William Gilmore, Youth Speech Contest chair. “They will undoubtedly do well in the upcoming Youth Speech Contest.”

They spoke with energy and passion about various topics: What is the chore you least enjoy? If you had to pick a sport among two that overlap, which would you select? If you were to find a bag with $10,000, what would you do? If your new friend disclosed that they were getting bullied, how would you handle it? What celebrity or person do you admire most? If you had an adopted sibling and they had HIV, how would you feel? Why do you think tobacco companies target children? What is your most embarrassing moment? Why should you drink eight glasses of water daily?

SOW Network (formerly IYMS Inc.) is an all-encompassing motivational agency in Miami. The agency, established in 1994, has trained thousands of individuals around the globe. SOW Network offers annual speech contests, public speaking camps and Junior Toast Clubs to develop youth speakers. Junior Toast Clubs are open for annual membership and meet monthly in South Dade, North Dade and West Broward for seven sessions during the school year.

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