Twelve students graduated from the Eloquent Speakers Toastmasters Club Youth Leadership Program in a ceremony at the Wharf Restaurant Wednesday evening.

The Toastmasters International Youth Leadership Program is an eight-week course designed to guide students to become effective communicators and leaders.

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Program coordinator Kimberley Conolly, president of the Eloquent Speakers Toastmasters Club in Savannah, leads the sessions each Sunday at the Lighthouse School.

Students from the Lighthouse School, Youth Flex, Special Olympics and other schools throughout Cayman worked on their leadership and communication skills, as well as speech organization, time management, parliamentary procedures, body language, vocal variety and listening.

During the ceremony, Ms. Conolly extended a special welcome to toastmaster students, their families and friends and to the area director, Paul Persaud.

Awards for best speaker, most improved and student of excellence were also given.

Colindra-Rodericka McGarvey-Sterling was chosen as the best speaker; Julius Smith and Diquon Messam as most improved; and Mohyndra Brown was presented the Wick Candles & Scents’ Student of Excellence award.

Each student spoke about what mattered to them, their experiences and overall understanding of leadership.

“We taught them how to think, but not what to think,” Ms. Conolly said.

“Communication and leadership skills are vital to the success of any person, no matter what career path they decide to journey,” she added.

Over the past two months, she said, the graduates of the program have committed their Sunday afternoons to helping the development of the next generation of leaders.

“The most important thing about leadership is communication. James Humes said it best: ‘The art of communication is the language of leadership,’” she said.

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