Denton Toastmasters sponsored a Youth Leadership for the Courage to Change program at the juvenile detention center in Denton. Our team of three: Robi Ley, Manhal Shukayr, and me, had to pass background checks, have fingerprints taken, and attend training for interns to be able to conduct the program. We had eight young men participate. They ranged in age from 15 to 17. They were all at the Junior 1 to Senior 1 level in the Courage to Change program. The young men have had many problems and obstacles to overcome.
Each young man gave three speeches during the sessions and had opportunities to answer table topic questions. I gave a sample speech in which I showed the young men a place setting they might encounter at a formal dinner. One young man thanked me a few sessions later because he went to a dinner on furlough and because of the speech, knew what to do.
At the showcase, all the young men gave a speech and answered a table topic question. The speeches had subject areas covering topics such as delight, favorite things, humor to help yourself through hard situations, and a recommendation that we conduct the program again. The showcase was presented to the participants’ parents, parents of other teens in the program and staff. We received many compliments on the program.
This Youth Leadership was a little more difficult to present because of the security of the facility but was well worth the effort. Youth Leadership is a program that has benefits far beyond the cost.