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Youth: Sensational at public speaking camp

Miami Times staff report | 8/22/2013, noon
Arianna Davis (l-r, front), Marvin Davis, Kirby Gilmore, Alyssa Heiden; Destiny Bryant, Kayla Edouard (second row); Deja Monroe, Edward Leonard and Teja Browning (third row).

S.O.W. Network, Girl Scout Troop #215 and the S.W.A.T. [Students Working Against Tobacco] at the Florida Department of Health in Perrine, recently joined forces to sponsor a week-long public speaking camp. The camp explored the fundamentals of public speaking and allowed the students (ranging from 7th 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.

Camp participants also competed in mini contests in the above-listed three categories. The first place winners included: prepared speech: Alyssa Heiden, 9th grade, Robert Morgan Senior High; “off the cuff” speech: Edward Leonard, 9th grade, New World School of the Arts; and Evaluations: Deja Monroe (12th grade, Miami Southridge Senior High.

Tiffany Willis-Gilmore, president/CEO of S.O.W. Network says she was encouraged by the talent that was evident during the camp.

“These children are all over-achievers and pushed themselves very hard during the week,” she said. “Just when you thought they could not get any better, they always amazed me. “I was also very 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.”

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

Students weighed-in on a number of topics but here are a few highlighted ones: 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? 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?

S.O.W. Network (formerly IYMS, Inc.) is an all-encompassing motivational agency. The agency was established in 1994 and there area seven sessions held during the school year. For information contact: Willis-Gilmore at 786-268-9673 or at sownetwork@gmail.com.