Monday, December 30, 2013

So it's your birthday!

Wow, ten years ago, no gray hair! Almost.

While reading 'The Art of being Unmistakable' again, this powerful little book, has true meaning!

May I suggest some good small reads? For the family. With quotes.

Tuesday's With Morrie, Mitch Albom   “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” 
              ― Mitch AlbomTuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson

The Five People you meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom   “All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.” 

             ― Mitch AlbomThe Five People You Meet in Heaven
Just One More Day, Mitch Albom   “Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go you whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.” 
             ― Mitch AlbomFor One More Day
Who Moved My Cheese, Dr. Spencer Johnson   
Four characters live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. The maze is where you spend time looking for what you want. It may be the organization you work in, the relationships you have in your life, or the community you live in.

Pulling Weeds to Picking Stocks, The Beatty Boys

Teen authors The Beatty Brothers offer an account of common financial insecurities in their inspirational how-to, Pulling Weeds to Picking Stocks. Heeding their parents advice, David, Devin, and Deric Beatty have spent their childhood and adolescent years pulling weeds for extra cash, preparing and presenting marketing strategies, picking stocks, and investing in their future. Pulling Weeds to Picking Stocks includes their easy-to-follow tips for being rich at fifteen, thirteen, and seven, such as budget worksheets, work ethics, asset liability evaluation, and tithing. No matter what age, you can follow these practical guidelines to make cents of the change in your life.

The Art of being Unmistakable, Srinivas Rao   We live in such a hyper-connected society today flooded with so much talent and so much noise. Talent alone won’t cut it. Whether you’re an artist, musician, writer or creator of sorts, to stand out in the world you must be unmistakable. 

It’s the only option. 
To create unmistakable work, you must take risks. You must cross lines, personal and professional. You must go to the point of a no return. On my 34th birthday, I asked myself a question. "If this had been the last year of my life, would I have been ok with how I'd lived?" When my answer was a resounding NO, I knew that something had to change. 
One More Birthday, 11:28 pm almost over!
What happens on your birthday, you come a year closer to dying. Or maybe you hadn't thought about the dying part. 
Do you wake up each day with a plan?  All the books above are about a plan.  Each story could help you create a plan. Morrie had a plan, he was dying, but he wanted to give back.  The Beatty boys wanted to tell other kids the lessons they had learned.  The mice were lost in the maze, but they were about to learn an important life lesson.   Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart.  Charles, just wanted one more conversation.  Each story powerful, sometimes your day, your month, your life will change with just the right words.

I ask you on your birthday make a plan, change a life, mentor a child, leave your heart on the big stage, stop in on to playa see blog ( Break Down the Wall ).  Be unmistakable.
You don't have to be rich, just be real!

York  12:05 am

Friday, December 27, 2013

Socratic debate!

Please bear with me as I attempt to tie together the thinking of these great men!

Self-Portrait: from 'Out of my latter Years' written by Albert Einstein

OF WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT in one's own existence one is hardly aware, and it certainly should not bother the other fellow. What does a fish know about the water in which he swims all his life?
The bitter and the sweet come from the outside, the hard from within,from one's own efforts. For the most part I do the thing which my own nature drives me to do. It is embarrassing to earn so much respect and love for it. Arrows of hate have been shot at me too; but they never hit me, because somehow they belong to another world, with which I have no connection whatsoever.  I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

The main goal of this blog (YSTA) is to create critical thinking

Larry P. Arnn
President, Hillsdale College

Two Ways of Education 

At Hillsdale College students read a lot of old books, including Plato’s Republic. In the Republic they read the story of Gyges’ ring—a ring that makes the wearer of it invisible. One of Socrates’ interlocutors in the Republic, a young man named Glaucon, raises the question: Why would a man in possession of such a ring not use it to do and obtain whatever he wishes? Why would he not use the ring’s powers, for instance, to become a tyrant? In response, Socrates turns the discussion to another question: What is the right way for a man to live? What is just by nature and what is unjust?
These Socratic questions were once at the center or core of education, and they remain at the center or core of education at Hillsdale College. But in American education as a whole, these questions have been abandoned.

A Rebirth of Liberty and Learning

"The difference between the old and the new way of governing is directly connected to this turn in education. One way to see the difference is to see that laws in America used to be simple and beautiful. They were written with care, and citizens could read them quickly and understand their meaning. Of the four organic laws that founded America—the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance, and the Constitution of the United States—none of them was more than 4,500 words long. " Read the complete article here:

Moral Decay;  Albert Einstein

ALL RELIGIONS,ARTS and sciences are branches of the same tree.  All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual toward freedom.  It is no mere chance that older universities have developed from clerical schools.  Both churches and universities-insofar as they live up to their true function-serve the ennoblement of the individual. They seek to fulfill this great task by spreading moral and cultural understanding, renouncing the use of brute force.
  The essential unity of ecclesiastical and secular cultural institutions was lost during the 19th century, to the point of senseless hostility.  Yet there never was any doubt as to the striving for culture. No one doubted the sacredness of the goal.  It was the approach that was disputed.
  The political and economic conflicts and complexities of the last decades have brought before our eyes dangers which even the darkest pessimists of the last century did not dream of.  The injunctions of the Bible concerning human conduct were then accepted by believer and infidel alike as self-evident demands for individuals and society. No one would have been taken seriously who failed to acknowledge the quest for objective truth and knowledge as man's highest and eternal aim.
  Yet today we must recognize with horror that these pillars of civilized human existence have lost their firmness.  Nations that once ranked high bow before tyrants who dare openly to assert:  Right is that which serves us!  The quest for truth for it's own sake has no justification and is not to be tolerated. Arbitrary rule, oppression, persecution of individuals, faiths and communities are openly practiced in those countries and accepted as justifiable or inevitable......
  And the rest of the world has slowly grown accustomed to the symptoms of moral decay.  One misses the elementary reaction against injustice and for injustice-that reaction which in the long run represents man's only protection against a relapse into barbarism.  I am firmly convinced that the passionate will for justice and truth has done more to improve man's condition than calculating political shrewdness which in the long run only breeds general distrust!   Who can doubt that Moses was a better leader of humanity than Machiavelli?
  During the War someone tried to convince a great Dutch scientist that might went before right in history of man.  " I cannot disapprove the accuracy of your assertion," he replied, " but i do know that I should not care to live in such a world!"
  Let us think, feel and act like this man, refusing to accept fateful compromise. Let us not shun the fight when it's unavoidable to preserve right and the dignity of man. If we do this we shall soon return to conditions that will allow us to rejoice in humanity.
"ALL RELIGIONS,ARTS and sciences are branches of the same tree," but how many branches have fallen and rotted?

Then is? "The difference between the old and the new way of governing is directly connected to this turn in education?"

 What's is our responsibility?

Lets explore, today's children are now connected to something in their hand! The impact of the smart phone, games and pads on children is yet unknown. Thinking back to the days, years of Triathlon training, swim, bike and run, who knew then the impact of creating all those free-radicals and not enough time to recover between workouts could cause unknown damage to your health. 

Someone once said do everything in moderation, but do we?  Do we use the internet in moderation? Is there a reason we have millions of diet plans?  Sure we moderate our eating, our drinking sodas, wine, beer, our TV time, Facebook time.  What about video games?  Or do we?

How are some games like Grand Theft Auto impacting our children?  How about their diet? How does sugar, and even carbohydrates impact them?  Are we as adults paying attention to the overuse of video games, or the fact that instead of writing our children text!

Do they read, do they know who Socrates was?  Do they know who wrote and delivered The Gettysburg Address?  Who created the space program?  Or even who was John F. Kennedy? 

Now that we are into a era far removed from Socrates, or Einstein their impact on the world will never be forgotten.  The goal at YSTA is to capture young minds, help then realize their potential to create.  Create that dream like Walt Disney, to dream, to create is real.

Friends the future is theirs, I mean them ( the children ) are going to be in charge one day.  Now is the time to show then ( the children ) how to create a brand new world, it's called the future!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Why Teach Public Speaking in Elementary School?

 Today we talk about the future, the children!  I will call it "A Trip to the Future". About six years ago, I designed some labels to go inside book covers. Then in some cases I would ask groups of students to read a book. Since they sat in rows in the class room, I picks the rows. They each had to read the book, and sign on the label "A Trip to the Future". Each group would then pick one person to deliver a speech on that book. At the end of each Youth Leadership Program, we would have a graduation/speech contest, where the families are invited. The students goal then deliver a speech on the book. The book

Pulling Weeds to Picking Stocks Paperback – August 5, 2008

  "Teen authors The Beatty Brothers offer an account of common financial insecurities in their inspirational how-to, Pulling Weeds to Picking Stocks. Heeding their parents advice, David, Devin, and Deric Beatty have spent their childhood and adolescent years pulling weeds for extra cash, preparing and presenting marketing strategies, picking stocks, and investing in their future. Pulling Weeds to Picking Stocks includes their easy-to-follow tips for being rich at fifteen, thirteen, and seven, such as budget worksheets, work ethics, asset liability evaluation, and tithing. No matter what age, you can follow these practical guidelines to make cents of the change in your life."  See the winner: 12 year old Chloe..

When I joined Toastmasters in 2003
Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Our membership is 292,000 strong. These members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 14,350 clubs in 122 countries that make up our global network of meeting locations.)

 I had no idea how Toastmasters would impact my life.  When you realize what you can do as a teacher, leader, communicator, it becomes "A Trip to the Future"!

So many children since Chloe and that class of 2008, have touched my soul!  As I wrote in blog Break Down That Wall
"Remember you don't have to be rich, just be real!"

Friends, YSTA is about being innovative, being real! 

You may ask the question, are the children learning?  Read blog: The Kids Say Thank You and

Thank You


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pass it on!

Written by Toastmaster: Rory Vaden
"For me, my struggle with giving changed from an unexpected encounter…
I once had the honor of watching the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones be awarded a lifetime achievement award for how much money he had donated. During his acceptance speech he told a story of a young boy who was watching his mother pay bills. The little boy asked “Mom, what are you doing?” She replied “Well honey, I am paying bills- which means I am writing checks to pay money for the work that other people have done for me.”
Suddenly the little boy had an idea! That day he worked extra hard around the house and slipped a note under his mom’s bedroom door at night. When she woke up the next morning she saw this piece of paper, which said “BILL” at the top. Underneath it said “Taking out the trash – $5. Doing the Dishes – $10. Cleaning up my room – $20. Total Amount Due – $35.” That day the mom paid the young boy $35 in cash.
However, the next morning the little boy woke up and saw a piece of paper under his door. At the top it was marked “BILL.” Underneath it said, “Cooking for you every day that you’ve been alive – $5000. All the clothes you’ve ever worn – $10,000. Changing all of your diapers and cleaning up after you your entire childhood – $20,000.”
The only difference was at the very bottom it said “Total Amount Due – $0. Paid in full by the love that you give me each and every day.” 
Pass it on!
So friends what if you don't have much money, but you have time?  What is time worth?  I guess what you think it's worth?  It's worth what the story said " paid in full by love!"
Pay It Forward! The Movie
When eleven and a half year old Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) begins seventh grade in Las VegasNevada, his social studies teacher Eugene Simonet (Kevin Spacey) gives the class an assignment to devise and put into action a plan that will change the world for the better. Trevor's plan is a charitable program based on the networking of good deeds. He calls his plan "Pay It Forward", which means the recipient of a favor does a favor for three others rather than paying the favor back. However, it needs to be a major favor that the receiver can't complete themselves.
My speech John!
From seeing the movie, In 2000, I  created a story that year, then in 2010 to be turned into a speech " John ".

 John was the town drunk, and that Sat. in Jan. the town council gave John an award!   Before the city council they thanked John for all the interesting moments he had provided the town of 'Hope'. The last words from the Mayor as John turned to leave, John this is your last day in the town of Hope!  That night after John had left a party for him, at the local bar, with his life slung over his shoulder, beer in hand, he approached the bridge to leave Hope. As he glanced at the sign " Leaving Hope" he stopped and knelt looking looking back reflecting on his sad life! 

Then he heard the screams, he looked up, at a woman standing high above him, as she yelled leave me alone I am going to jump? At that moment John's whole life passed before him ' many times he has wanted to jump'!

John, talked that woman down that night. John knew what it was like to want to jump!  As they stood arm in arm, she looked in his eyes, she asked how can I repay you?  John, said just "Pay It Forward". At that moment John threw his LAST beer off into the river.

It was twenty years later, John was working on Wall Street. That Sat. morning in Jan., John was reading the Wall Street Journal.  On page 20 he saw an interesting story about a woman, with a familiar face, it was the same woman from the bridge twenty years before. 

The story was about this woman who had payed it forward, she went on to create the world famous "Pay It Forward" movement. She said she had never know the name of the man on the bridge that night, but she wanted to say 'THANK YOU. 

As the tears rolled down John's cheeks, he knew it was her who had saved his life!  Thank You, he cried!


The Kids Say Thank You

To me the most beautiful thing in this interesting world is a THANK YOU!  Sometimes you get just a nod or a smile.  Maybe it's when you open the door for a stranger.  My mother taught me you always open the door for a woman, so why not extend that courtesy to everyone?  Is life that short?

What if that was your last breath?  Were you on that plane on 911 and, just knew you were going to die?  It's your last call, what do you say, or hope they say 'THANK YOU'!  I Love you!

Sometimes, a mood is bad, you had a bad day, it's that time of the month, or just that time in your midlife? Or old age! Don't forget THANK YOU!

Then my 5th grade class said THANK YOU

  1. Have a Merry Christmas - Tyler
  2. Thank you for teaching us public speaking. I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! My knowledge on speeches has improved a lot, Thank you! Rehna
  3. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you for teaching me about YSTA. I like writing speeches. Thank you for giving me good tips. Happy Holidays. Ho Ho Ho-Maddy 
  4. Dear Mr. York Who's-last name-starts-with an S-I think,, Thank you for all your lessons so far! Thank you for the tips, and the magazine. Good thing you remember me for my haircut. From: anonymous (just kidding)-Owen
  5. Dear, Mr. York, You are a great Toastmaster teacher. You are extremely funny and I hope you have A "Merry, Merry Christmas this year"    M-y only, and favorite Toastmaster teacher! R-ight away you can notice if someones shoes are untied! Y-ou are very funny! OK, I have to admit your Black Friday speech was the best! Right away I new you were going to be great, Kris Kringle is probably very happy with you.- Sincerely Rachel
  6. Thank you for coming to our classroom for Toastmasters....or Toastmastering?  It is really fun and I have a good time doing Toastmasters,or Toastmastering?  Whatever, anyways, I'm glad that you come.  If you remember me-Zak
  7. Have a great holiday week while your gone! I wish you a Merry Christmas! Have a fun time!
  8. Mr. York, I hope you have a very good Christmas.  I enjoy Toastmasters and maybe I'll be one just like you! Thank you for teaching us!  Happy Holidays- Abby K.
  9. Merry Christmas Mr. York, Thank You so much for coming to our class every Monday and teaching us everything about Speaking to America!!!- Savannah
  10. Merry Christmas Mr York, Thank you for coming in every week! I hope you have a Merry Christmas and  Happy New Year!  2014  Ho,Ho,Ho- Delaney
  11. Dear My York, Thank-you for everything you have done for us. You taught me a lot about public speaking. It was very fun too. You are very awesome. I've learned how to make a good speech and how to improve it. Have a Merry Christmas!  Mr. York! You're the best Toastmaster teacher ever! - Sincerely, Andriana
  12. Merry Christmas Mr. York Thank you for teaching/helping improve our public speaking-Abby D.
  13. Merry Christmas Mr. York, I hope you liked teaching us! You are my favoriate and only Toastmaster teacher.  Thank you soo much for what you do for us. I hope you have a geat Christmas! - Aubree
  14. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
  15. Merry Christmas, Have the best Christmas Mr. York! - We love Mr. York
  16. Happy Holidays Mr. York,  yo,yo,yo  from cool Santa
  17. Happy Holidays, I have enjoyed your humor and your teaching. Here's one more thing I'd like to tell you... We wish, you a merry Christmas and a happy new year! - From-Nicole To - Mr. York.  Thank you for teaching us public speaking!
  18. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.  Thanks for teaching our class about public speaking. Hope your Christmas is full of joy, and we'll see you next year!- Alejandra
  19. Happy Holiday's Mr. York, I love YSTA-Logan
  20. Dear Mr. York, Have a great holiday!  I love Toastmasters and YSTA
  21. We'll miss you...Mr York,  I always liked talking about football with you. I am a Gators fan so I'm sad to say that...The Seminoles are going to the college World Championships-Drew
  22. Happy Holidays..Go Noles,  Mr. York, thank you for reaching us about Toastmasters. You helped me slowdown and helped me look up more. Again, thank you for teaching me about Toastmasters. See you soon- Jack T. Go Noles!
  23. Mr. York...Noles, Thank you Mr. York for coming in. I really enjoy your humor, and speeches.  I can't wait till you give us another speech...Go Gators! 
From the cards they wrote        
Thank You
 Mr. York

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Making Life Relivant.

When I sit in Panera Bread writing ( my office away from home ) you get to watch lots of children.  They run, jump scream, and play, just in their own little worlds! WE think.  So I ask myself this questions? What do they see?

A few years back in my third childhood, I read:  Dr. Michio Kaku's interesting book:

Hyperspace and a Theory of Everything

What lies beyond our 4 dimensions?

"When I was a child, I used to visit the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. I would spend hours fascinated by the carp, who lived in a very shallow pond just inches beneath the lily pads, just beneath my fingers, totally oblivious to the universe above them.
I would ask myself a question only a child could ask: what would it be like to be a carp? What a strange world it would be! I imagined that the pond would be an entire universe, one that is two-dimensional in space. The carp would only be able to swim forwards and backwards, and left and right. But I imagined that the concept of “up”, beyond the lily pads, would be totally alien to them. Any carp scientist daring to talk about “hyperspace”, i.e. the third dimension “above” the pond, would immediately be labelled a crank. I wondered what would happen if I could reach down and grab a carp scientist and lift it up into hyperspace. I thought what a wondrous story the scientist would tell the others! The carp would babble on about unbelievable new laws of physics: beings who could move without fins. Beings who could breathe without gills. Beings who could emit sounds without bubbles. I then wondered: how would a carp scientist know about our existence? One day it rained, and I saw the rain drops forming gentle ripples on the surface of the pond.

Then I understood.

The carp could see rippling shadows on the surface of the pond. The third dimension would be invisible to them, but vibrations in the third dimensions would be clearly visible. These ripples might even be felt by the carp, who would invent a silly concept to describe this, called “force.” They might even give these “forces” cute names, such as light and gravity. We would laugh at them, because, of course, we know there is no “force” at all, just the rippling of the water."

Each Monday I teach speaking to this wonderful group of 5th graders.  Do they ask  the question's only a child could ask: what would it be like to be a carp? What a strange world it would be!  Do they imagine that the pond would be an entire universe, yes!
Truly today's children are so far ahead of what we were at their age. If you remember Big Blue (IBM), it filled a whole room, today's  iPod has more power.   So then is it a silly idea to think they see the world much different that we do?

Then as  Dr. Michio Kaku writes "these ripples might even be felt by the carp, who would invent a silly concept to describe this, called “force.”  Then when the "force" is changed to "thinking" in our children, the door is opened wide! 

These young minds will walk through to the future, with the universe as much a unknown? We could say the sky's the limit.

This is exactly why I created Youth Speaking to America, to help open up these young minds!  ' The Big Show' is just one stepping stone to present yourself to the world.  

When you teach young children the art of public speaking, you know move these searching minds beyond the pad or phone, to the big stage see ( Break Down the Wall ) my last blog. 

 Adults are told this public speaking thing is scary, why?  If your one of those scared adults, stop into a Toastmasters meeting:

 Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Our membership is 292,000 strong. These members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 14,350 clubs in 122 countries that make up our global network of meeting locations.

Then you will understand why Youth Speaking to America. 

 Please go to:


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Break Down That Wall

Recently I picked up this interesting little book 'The Art of Being Unmistakable" the author Srinivas Rao, writes:
"The future belongs to the misfits?

Perhaps it always has.
It seems fitting that I'm writing this at Burning Man, a strange and alternative pop-up city that had to venture into the middle of nowhere - an ancient lakebed in the Nevada desert, known as playa - to bring itself into being near the end of every August.
  Each time I come here, to this world of portapotties, alkaline dust storms, sweltering days, freezing nights, and no Starbucks - I swear to myself, this is the last freaking time.  And yet there's a point when something in me shifts over and I know I will return.  How could I not? "Welcome home," Burners say as we reunite with each other on the playa, and it's true.  Even if you've never been here before, the playa calls you home."

In the last line, on page 130 of 'The Art of Being Unmistakable", the author says" It's the opportunity for a performance where you leave your heart on the stage."

So you read this powerful little book, it's everything you ever thought about?  It's the commonsense stuff your mother said, or your 4th grade teacher, yea!

Then you think about leaving your heart on the big stage, everyone has their idea of what their big stage is?  What about the art of being unmistakable?  How do you get there?

Each week when I enter the classrooms, for 1.5 hr sessions, I see that " opportunity for that performance, in those children "  They have that chance to be unmistakable.

This mission to sell the public speaking idea to elementary and middle schools is like hitting a brick wall.

  Or maybe when your running that marathon 26.2 miles, at mile 16 you hit the wall, the lactic acid builds in your legs!  Thank god, a water stop, you walk, your legs burn, you want to quit?  You down some Gatorade, grab some cookies, sugar, sugar, you want to quit, your legs say quit, your brain says you trained and trained, it says no!  And the big stage is only 10.2 miles away, eke!  People along the way see your pain, they know, because they may have experienced the big stage, they feel your pain. They know about the big can change your life.

They know, soon you will arrive at the big stage, it's just like returning to the playa, it even has portapotties, thou this stage may have a Starbucks!  Your body is so tired, you have forgotten about the pain!  You have arrived - when you get it, it's so powerful!

It's so powerful, when you arrive!

Don't we all hit the wall?  Do you wonder what Albert Einstein's parents thought when at 9 years old his teacher said he would never amount to anything?  Do you wonder what he thought? What if that was your child?  What if it was you who wanted to break down the wall?  We know Albert Einstein's story, but how about the next kid, he may not have a 150+ IQ, he may not be smarter then the detractors, those who put up the wall!

 When Ronald Reagan said "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"  was it a different wall, not really, but in reality  it's the same wall that separates people from different freedom's.

Who builds the walls?  It could be you, me, educators, government, bosses, the kids in the school yard?  What if the wall was just in your mind?  Do you think Albert Einstein cared about the wall?  Why do people keep returning to the palya, maybe because they find answers.  How to climb the wall, how to get to the big stage?

My mission Youth Speaking to America, is about breaking down walls.  It's about giving students the chance to become someone.  So exactly what is the big stage?  Is it inventing the I phone, scoring the touchdown that wins the Iron-bowl, or telling the world about The Theory of Relativity?  You decide?

Youth Speaking to America is about teaching how to open your mind, not to ever believe that person who says you can't do that, your not smart enough?  Remember if teaching children there is no wall, like Walt Disney said " if you can dream it, you can do it" you can.

 Everyone can reach the big stage.  Your stage may be American Idol, teaching children, breaking down barriers like Nelson Mandela,  building Amazon ( Jeff Bezos ), or just a good parent, teaching values.  Remember you don't have to be rich, just be real!

Personally, I don't remember being told this stuff, I did stuff the hard way, because I lacked education.  The one thing I tell all the students, if you work hard, and be on time, someone will notice.  But if you build your own wall ( no education ) it's so much harder, I know!

If your a person who likes my ideas, find me:

York T. Somerville                              Sand & Stone off-road Triathlon 2003

                                                                  It's only hard if you think it is!

PS: I never forgot the day my 4th grade teacher sat me on her knee, she said " York if you just tried, you could be a good student" I didn't try, they threw me out of the 4th grade!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Why Donate to 'The Big Show'?

At the end of each Youth Leadership Program,we have a graduation/speech contest. This last program at 6 pm, we opened with a video. This video is from the 2007 Toastmasters World Championships. This time I opened with "Slam" the runner-up speech by Rory Vaden. The families, school principal, teachers, etc. attend the contest. Why show these video's, because it shows everyone the power of this speech program. Later at intermission, we show the 2007 World Championship speech " The Swami's Question" by  Vinkas Jhingran.

So why 'The Big Show'?  After 10 years as a Toastmaster, attending, judging, competing, doing almost every job, you have to love speaking and competition. Since I retired as a event promoter in 2003, one thing happens, you never lose the desire to promote! Watching almost every "American Idol" program, sometimes it brings me to tears to see these young people get that chance to be on the big stage.

Now completing Youth Leadership Program # 10, you want to use some of the same ideas, as American Idol and the Toastmasters World Championship, then why not create 'The Big Show'?

Just imagine 3 day's of family fun? Just imagine your child on the big stage? Just imagine it's your company who sponsors 'The Big Show'. Maybe you just help one child get to 'The Big Show'?

'The Big Show' is almost 7 months away, but please spread the word, tell the students, the teachers, the parents and if you want to donate, please do.

There are thousands of students in speech programs around the country, now any student can enter 'Free' online, for 'The Big Show'

Thank You
York T. Somerville

Friday, December 6, 2013

Don't Leave the Children Behind.

What is Youth Speaking to America? 
 Simple when you’re thrown out of school at 16, you think your cool! But maybe as Mark Twain said  “ When I was fourteen, I just could not believe how dumb my old man was;  but by the time I turned twenty-one, I was amazed how much he had learned.”

Fast foward to 2003, I joined Tampa Toastmasters.  It was then I realized the power of this speaking thing, Toastmasters.

When you think back to all the things you did the hard way, because you had no writing skills, English skills and math skills etc., I have a flashback, just see about York.

So you decide to take your experience’s, learned of course ( the hard way ) and then take this message “ don’t quit school” to the youth of America.

Youth Speaking to America(YSTA) is powerful, it's learning how to become a leader, it's opening the door to yourself. I truly believe public speaking must start at the elementary school level.

Why elementary school you ask? Because adults believe that this speaking in public is scary, you might die, have a embolism or just run out, or just embarrass yourself! The answer is that's exactly why Toastmasters was born!

So lets take 5th graders, no one is telling then all that scary stuff. Even if they are shy, they step up, because peer pressure in this case is powerful.

What if in elementary school each child was given the chance to become a future leader, by introducing them to public speaking? The world is searching for leaders. Are we not seeking the next Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, or Ronald Reagan? Is that your child, or maybe it's your time to help one child or even a group.

Toastmasters has a Youth Leadership Program, but sadly they don't promote it. But I do.

Now after 10 Youth Leadership Programs, I truly believe these students will grow up, they will step-up, if you guide them. But I can't do this alone, I need you to step-up!

Go to the teachers, go to the schools, go to Toastmaster clubs and ask about the Youth Leadership Program, contact: Join Youth Speaking to America, the rewards are how you feel inside, not what does it pay!
If you need to know what it pays, your doing it for the wrong reasons.

Don't Leave the Children Behind.

York T. Somerville