Youth of the Year is the premier recognition program of Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. Each year, one exceptional young person from Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware is selected to be the George Kruspanski Jr. Delaware State Youth of the Year. These young people serve as model ambassadors for the other Boys & Girls Club youth and as a strong voice for all of Delaware's young people. The Youth of the Year process includes three written essays, three letters of recommendation, a panel interview, and a final speech about the Club experience of each finalist.
This year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware partnered with Dale Carnegie Training to prepare each finalist to present their speech, helping them overcome their fears of public speaking and perfect their delivery for the panel of judges. Dale Carnegie offers courses and workshops to help leaders engage their listeners. Their proven training methods help to drive success for professionals.
Over the span of two workshops, Robert Johnston, Director of Training, PennDel Region, led the finalists through a series of exercises and trainings to equip them with the skills they needed to become strong public speakers. Together, they discussed stage fright, body language, speech volume and storytelling using methods found in the Dale Carnegie & Associates book, SPEAK!, Overcoming the Fear and Horror of Public Speaking. Each finalist participated in a variety of exercises including recording and judging their own speech multiple times, presenting their speeches in different styles and offering tips to encourage one another during the process. Over the course of the workshops, the finalists developed the confidence and poise they will need to present their speeches during selection weekend to the judging panel. Of the seven finalists, only the top speeches will be selected for presentation at the Youth of the Year gala on April 27th.
“Partnering with Dale Carnegie has allowed our finalists to prepare for their speeches in an entirely new way. The changes we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks has been incredible” says Cheryl Rice, Co-Chair of the Youth of the Year program.
With Selection Weekend and their speeches fast approaching, the finalists are hard at work practicing the skills they’ve learned through the Dale Carnegie workshops. With the additional preparation, the finalists will enter into their presentations more confident than ever before.
Johnston enjoyed his time working with the Youth of the Year finalists, saying “Working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware has been an honor for me and my team. Each of the finalists has their own unique story of overcoming challenges through hard work and determination. I was inspired by each and every presentation and I am excited to see what these young people accomplish in the future. I am grateful that organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs exist to provide resources, and hope, for our next generation of leaders.”