BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA, May 12, 2020: “I am no longer the shy girl shuffling her feet in the corner of the room. Instead, I’m the girl in the center of a crowd speaking her voice with confidence,” says Rachita Iyer, senior at South Forsyth High School who was featured in the March 2020 edition of The Toastmasters International magazine for her involvement in the Youth Toastmasters’ program.
Toastmasters International (TI) is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication, public speaking and leadership, with presence in nearly 170 countries.
Accompanying her dad to the Toastmasters club he had joined when she was in fifth grade, Iyer developed an interest in public speaking and joined Toastmasters youth programs in the Atlanta area. And it changed her life.
Iyer won many awards in speech contests as a member of a youth Gavel Club, which was supervised by Victoria Noethling, DTM, a member of three Toastmasters clubs in the Atlanta area. She was elected as the Gavel Club’s Vice President Education (VPE). Iyer also assisted Noethling in a YLP at her high school. “As VPE of my Gavel Club, planning meetings and coordinating speakers have given me organizational and communication abilities that will help me in many other areas.”
Iyer says the skills she developed at Toastmasters have helped her in being a confident presenter at DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), a youth organization centered around presentation and marketing skills.
Iyer has won multiple awards at the regional levels of the National Optimist Club Oratorical Competition and the National High School Mock Trial Competition. “In mock trial, which I have competed in for three years, students split into plaintiff and defendant teams and prepare for months to argue a case in a real courtroom. As a competitive attorney in mock trial, I have been able to present concise and powerful legal arguments.”
“Toastmasters has taught me invaluable life lessons that have shaped who I am as a person. Through these youth programs, I learned the importance of perseverance, planning, and confidence,” says Iyer in her featured article.