On Friday, October 13, seniors from all seven high schools in Birmingham City Schools met at the Harbert Center for the skill-building conference on public speaking. Participating students had worked with volunteer presenters, Ed staff, and their teachers to produce personal commentaries, which they wrote, practiced, and perfected through in-school sessions, before giving presentations to volunteers from Rotary Club of Birmingham.
The conference is the culminating experience of the Educate Local curriculum for seniors, who are invited to present their commentaries to Rotarians who will offer feedback to the student, on how they can make their work and their presentations even better. Selected students also receive a “Golden Ticket” from Rotarians who believe their commentaries should be heard by volunteers from WBHM.
Selected “Golden Ticket” winners were invited to continue working on their commentaries with volunteers from WBHM. Some of these students will be invited to continue working on and editing their commentaries for air on WBHM.
In addition to practicing the skills they had been building and practicing in their schools, students also heard from keynote speaker Cedric Sparks. Participants also attended breakout sessions, where they heard from presenters like Victoria Hollis, Strategy Director for the Birmingham Education Foundation, whose session encouraged students to practice building their confidence for public speaking, by creating “I-statements.”
After the conference, Ed also hosted an interview fair, where students interviewed for positions with the Executive Internships. More than 30 host organizations were represented–all of whom are interviewing students for Spring 2018, when students will participate in paid 120-hour internships through Ed.