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The Toastmasters Club

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“I am a shy person and I also wanted others to overcome that fear too. The purpose of the club was to help others gain confidence but it's also a way for people to make new friends,” said Toastmasters club president, Alma Garcia.

“I am a shy person and I also wanted others to overcome that fear too. The purpose of the club was to help others gain confidence but it's also a way for people to make new friends,” said Toastmasters club president, Alma Garcia.

“I am a shy person and I also wanted others to overcome that fear too. The purpose of the club was to help others gain confidence but it's also a way for people to make new friends,” said Toastmasters club president, Alma Garcia.

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It’s very common to have a fear of public speaking but this year there is a club to help students overcome it. The president of the Toastmaster club, Alma Garcia, stumbled upon the idea when her teacher Mrs. Dixon shared her story, “I shared with my students a story from when I was their age and I was in school I was that shy person who the teacher would ask a question and would look away and wouldn’t want to raise my hand and try not to make eye contact with the teacher or talk in front of the class. But now you can’t get me to shut up that’s all I do is talk all day, so Alma told me that that story inspired her and she wanted to have that same confidence.”

The Toastmasters is a national organization and is a place where adults can come together and practice their public speaking skills. “It’s less than giving a formal politician speech, but more off the cuff. For instance, if you’re at a birthday party and someone asks you to give a toast, then you would be able to do that and have the confidence and ability. So when Alma came to talk to me about creating a public speaking club I thought it’d be a great idea that would benefit other students,” said Dixon.

Garcia, a sophomore, decided to form the club back in January because she felt it would benefit herself as well as others. “I am a shy person and I also wanted others to overcome that fear too. The purpose of the club was to help others gain confidence but it’s also a way for people to make new friends,” said Garcia. As of right now, the club does not have a set agenda. “When we meet up we usually have everyone talk about anything on their mind just so they can practice expressing themselves more.” Currently, there are about 8 members in the club. “In the club I encourage the members to be more outgoing and participate more in class and to step out of their comfort zone,” said Garcia.

The club has not only helped Alma, but it has also helped others. “I have seen progress within the members confidence levels, My best friend Juanita used to be super shy but after she joined the club she’s been more outgoing. And it has also helped me participate more and raise my hand in class,” said Garcia. Another person who has benefitted was sophomore Angel Aragon. “I decided to join the club because I wanted to become more confident. The club has been fun because I’ve gotten to know different people and make new friends. The club has also helped me express myself and motivate me to speak out more in and outside of school. I’m not at the confidence level I would like to be but I’m getting there,” said Aragon.

Dixon believes everyone should have to opportunity to express themselves and speak up even if it might be intimidating. “I wanted to encourage my students to participate in the toastmasters club because I saw that a lot of my students are very intelligent but there are also those few that tend to be very very shy and we’ve all had that experience where it’s only those four of five students that say the most and they dominate the conversations. So I wanted to give everyone that opportunity to feel that they have a say in the classroom,” said Dixon. She also added, “Some of my students from last year have joined the club too and to see my current students and my former students together forming friendships is really cool.”

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The Toastmasters Club