GOPIO Edison & Sayreville Toastmasters Club concludes youth leadership program


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Edison, NJ

GOPIO-Edison sponsored organized a Youth Leadership Program (YLP), for High School Students. Sayreville Toastmasters Club is based out of Sayreville, NJ under District-83 of Toastmaster International (TI).  The program is very well popular free event to bring young adults under the age of eighteen to develop leadership quality and public speaking and to make them aware of Toastmasters International.  The students Sayreville and many other cities participated.

GOPIO Edison Lifetime Founding Member, as, Club President, Chitranjan Sahay Belwariar, who recently became Division Director ‘F’, District-83, TI, took the initiative to organize the event. The Club published the schedule well in advance and was also redistributed by school mailing distribution. Thanks to Superintendent of Schools at Sayreville Board of Education, Dr. Richard Labbe, who supported the club and its activities. These were also published on Sayreville Toastmasters Club Facebook group and redistributed by friends of the club. Many parents encouraged their kids to join this program as they saw the value in kids public speaking growth. This was the first initiative by the club, and it quickly became very popular as signup sheets had to be closed, and it still gets interest among youths. The program was planned for six weekly online zoom sessions. The district-83 official Somesh Chablani, the Chair for Youth Leadership, gave valuable guidance to the program and suggested getting parental consent. The initiative was well supported by Toastmaster Javeed Ghani, Toastmaster Smita Tokekar and Toastmaster Pallavi Verma, who is also president of GOPIO-Edison. The program was meeting every Thursday at 7pm and young students were participating very enthusiastically and each one was signing the google sheet to pick roles. The roles were prepared speaker, evaluator, Timer, and listener roles and Table topic master. Every week, the students very promptly signed into zoom at 7pm and quickly get on to their roles.

As Coordinator for YLP program, Toastmaster Chitranjan, took up the position as Toastmaster of the Day role and explained the agenda for each day. It did not take long for students to understand the meetings format and took turns each day for different roles.

Sayreville Library:  On Saturday, April 29th the certification distribution was organized in Hybrid mode at Sayreville Public Library. The entire Library staff always helped and supported the event by the club. Club president thanked the Librarian Ms Aziza Haque for help in providing the space and Library equipment for club events. Librarian Jennifer Larsen and Librarian Daniel Vetrano have always been helpful and appreciative of the club activities. The Sayreville Toastmaster club truly appreciate their support. Not the least, we also got sponsorship from Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), Edison Chapter, which has been supportive of club initiatives.

Appreciation Award: Final Session concluded on April 27th, 2023.  Every student who was present gave positive feedback. One student said, “I am going to add his experience in his college application”. Another parent sent a thanking note to the club for the initiative. They request more such events. Toastmaster Somesh Chablani, DTM mentioned the importance of three ‘C’ – Communication, Collaboration and Commitment. GOPIO Edison President Ms. Pallavi Verma, also a club member explained in detail about the GOPIO and its activities and gave encouraging speech to bring more such programs.

The awards ceremony was held at Sayreville Public Library in hybrid in person event held in Sayreville Public Library. Many participants joined over zoom, and some were present in-person. The appreciation certificates were virtually shared over zoom and given to those who were presented and later sent to each deserving students as digital certificates to their emails. If anyone wants to reach the club, send email to [email protected] or leave voicemail at 848-4595918. The Club President Chitranjan Sahay Belwariar, Division Director, promised to bring more such events and thanked all who participated and supported Youth Leadership Program.

GOPIO-Edison, NJ has been a community service organization since early 2022 hosting programs of broader interest to the Indian Diaspora community. With cooperation with the Indian Consulate, the chapter launched India Collection of Books at the Edison Public Library in March 2022 and has organized informational seminars and celebration of Indian Festivals at the library.

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