LIVINGSTON, NJ – Livingston students in grades 5-8 from the Livingston Robotics Club (LRC) recently participated an eight-week youth leadership program sponsored by the BASF Toastmasters.

Organized by LRC coach Yvonne Ferreira, the program was designed to develop speaking and leadership skills for young students. BASF Toastmasters’ eight-week Youth Leadership program is similar to a regular Toastmasters’ meeting, but the students run the meeting while the mentors and coordinator provide training and guidance.

Students from the LRC presented their research on the hydrodynamic project in front of their parents, coaches, mentors and fellow LRC members. Their presentations showcased the new skills that they have learned through the program.

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“This is my first public-speaking class,” said Tyler Ferreira, a student in the program. “The mentors are very nice and supportive. They taught me the techniques that I was not aware of, pointed out how I can improve after each speech.”

The informal course focuses on teaching student’s communication and leadership skills. They learned to overcome nervousness when speaking in front of groups, to organize and present ideas logically and convincingly, to listen carefully to the ideas of other students, and offer helpful advice.

“I really appreciate the mentors and people who set up the program because it taught me a lot about how to make my presentation skills better and how to be more confident while speaking,” said LRC student Srishti Dhurandhar.

BASF Toastmasters hopes the training teaches skills that are often harder to learn in a normal school setting.

“This is a really great program, I definitely feel that the two who are in this program gained confidence in presenting, organizing their thoughts, and how to talk louder and clearer said Geoffrey Zheng, the RoboRocks coach. “It’s been great.”

The BASF Toastmaster mentors included: President Jacqueline Purisima, Distinguished Toastmaster Charlie Walter, VP Education Bill Davenport, VP Membership Philip Coniglio, James Keenan, Kerry Sayther and Girl Scout Delegate Pauline Jarney.

BASF Toastmaster club is a corporate club located in Florham Park and can be contacted at 1-734-324-5315. This club may have professional and/or educational prerequisites for membership.

Pictured above are:

First row from left to right: Hanah, Anlin Wei, Ritvik Maridi, Revant Maridi. 

Second row from left to right: Maggie Siao, Charles Walter, Tyler Ferreira, William Davenport, Simon Ferreira, Ashley Peng, Philip Coniglio, Aryan Bansal, Heainz Martin, Yvonne Ferreira