Thursday, October 20, 2011

Youth Leadership Program at Anjuman School

High Performance Leadership
Leadership Excellence 
October 16th, 2011

This is the speech given at Anjuman School at the valedictory ceremony of the Youth Leadership Program (YLP) conducted there for a period of 8 weeks.

Also read: 

How to organize a Youth Leadership Program (YLP)?
High Performance Leadership - Project Ideas / Requirements

Abdul Kalam once said "The ignited minds of the youth are the most powerful resources on the earth above the earth and under the earth". We, the toastmasters from Division G made an attempt to create a spark in the minds of the youth in Anjuman School, by conducting the Youth Leadership Program.

Youth Leadership Program, shortly called as YLP follows a standard curriculum from Toastmasters International. YLP provides an opportunity for fellow toastmasters to give back to the community. YLP for Anjuman school students was funded and organized by US Consulate.
We had a group of 20 faculties - 15 toastmasters and 5 non-toastmasters. We divided nearly 100 students into 4 different groups. Each classroom had at least 3 toastmasters’ faculties and 1 non-toastmaster faculty.

We conducted the workshop for 6 days during the weekends. We trained the students on 6 different skills:

1.      Prepared speeches
2.      Impromptu speeches
3.      Evaluations
4.      Debates
5.      Listening
6.      Leadership

YLP workshops are similar to what we do in regular toastmasters meeting. The students come and do the various roles and the faculties guide them to effectively do their roles.
Ralph Smedley the founder of toastmasters once said "We learn best in moments of enjoyment". This is true in case of the YouthLeadership Program. The faculty in each class room ensured that there was enthusiasm and excitement throughout the session. The student felt very comfortable in the class rooms which maximized their creativity and learning.  

One thing that amazed me during the whole program is the commitment and sincerity of our toastmasters. I saw the PASSION in them to TEACH. I saw the DESIRE in them to SERVE. I saw the DETERMINATION in them to LEAD. I didn’t have to put any effort in managing them. They were all self-managed and self-motivated. I was just sitting back and enjoying the entire show.
Overall, the program turned out to be a HUGE success. It was the final day. We had a valedictory ceremony. We were all assembled in the auditorium in Anjuman School. The dignitaries were sitting on the dais - US Consul General Jennifer McIntyre, Sr. English Language Fellow Mary Kay Seales from US Consulate, Executive Director of Anjuman Mazharallah  and other executives from Anjuman management. The hall was filled with 100s of students and faculty members. The students came and shared their toastmastering experiences on the stage.

One student came to the stage, stood before the mike and confidently said “Today, I’m able to deliver this speech with confidence, because of toastmasters…  we learned to write a speech … we learned to do impromptu speeches, we learned to work as a team. This is the first time that I’m addressing a gathering of 100s of people… I don’t have any nervousness or fear. I’m thankful to toastmasters and I’m going to miss them”.

A drop of tear popped out from my eye. I realized the impact that we toastmasters can make on the society. I realized how we can put our communication and leadership skills to the best use.

Personally I learned 6 leadership skills during this project –

1.      organizing a project involving various groups
2.      delegation
3.      co-ordination
4.      leadership without authority
5.      leading by example &
6.      service leadership

A candle looses nothing by lighting other candles. We, the toastmasters of Division G learned a lot from Anjuman school students.

We learned to dream BIG,
We learned to LISTEN,
We learned that toastmasters can make a HUGE DIFFERENCE in the society.
We went there to inspire them, but we came back inspired by them.

We just created a SPARK. But the little candles that we ignited are going to create a forest fire. Imagine a world filled with such ignited minds… look at the difference they can make to their FAMILY, to their SOCIETY, to the COUNTRY and to the WORLD.

I am grateful to Anjuman school students who helped me to discover the LEADER in me.

Also read: Leadership Lessons - What works when you are a Leader

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