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May 26, 2010

Annual Public Speaking Contest

Instituted in 1993, the YMCA of San Diego County’s Annual Public Speaking Contest helps to build self-esteem and confidence in YMCA youth through the development of their public speaking and leadership skills. Thanks to a grant from the Ruth Lane Charitable Foundation, the YMCA program and contest is now in its 17th year.

Thousands of youth from throughout the county complete a six week curriculum which then leads to branch and site finals and ultimately the championships.

The finals will be held June 12, 2010 at the corporate office of the YMCA of San Diego County at 11 a.m. Finalists will compete for a grand prize of $250.

Each speech will be approximately two minutes long and they will speak to the topic of “How do I make a difference using the four core YMCA values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility?”

Participants are all currently a part of YMCA after-school programs throughout San Diego County.

These programs are funded through Education and Safety grants received through local school districts, the County of San Diego’s Critical Hours programs, parent fees and YMCA Annual Support Campaign donations.

There are more than 10,000 youth involved in YMCA after-school programs and this year more than 1,000 young people received public speaking training through this program.

The comprehensive curriculum is based on the Toastmasters International model. The lessons cover specific elements that assist youth in preparing speeches as well as preparing a presentation.

The contestants compete in two categories; elementary school youth and middle school youth. Contestants are judged on content, delivery and effectiveness of their speeches.

Each participant will receive a certificate and the site winners are presented with a $10 Border’s Bookstore gift card. Winners at the regional and branch level receive a $100 American Express gift card. Final grand prize winners each receive an additional $250 gift card.

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