Developing Great Community Citizens by Muktha Tumkur, P. Eng., MBA, ACS, ALB
From left to right: Carl Naus, Muktha Tumkur, John Silvaroli, Chandra Movva, Aryan Suvarna, John Wang, Pavan Jayasinha, Rithik John Sathiaseelan, Alice Dods, Karen Ryan, Hollis Jailal
As part of the Port Credit Toastmasters Club, I recently had the privilege to serve as a speech contest judge for the 845 Avro Arrow Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Chandra Movva organized the contest, and other volunteers who served with me included John Wang, Carl Naus, Hollis Jailal from Port Credit Toastmasters and Karen Ryan from Creekside TD Toastmasters. I had first heard of the term “air cadets” when I was in grade school, but all I knew was that it had some connection to the Canadian Armed forces. I was curious to learn more about the air cadets before the contest and my research uncovered the full breadth and depth of the organization. The most interesting thing I learned was how well the visions of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and Toastmasters aligned.
The Air Cadet League of Canada is a civilian, non-profit, community-based and volunteer-led organization that in collaboration with the Department of National Defence and their partners, is dedicated to supporting the objectives of the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program . The Royal Canadian Air Cadets is seen as Canada’s premier and a world-class youth development movement. Being attuned to societal changes, it strives diligently to be a totally dedicated, proactive and innovative partner to encourage and enhance the development of well-adjusted, civic-minded youth to undertake leadership roles in a great Canada and a better world . Their values are stated as, “The Air Cadet League of Canada fosters development in youth of the values of self-confidence, self-discipline and leadership . With the Toastmasters vision to “…empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders” and values such as integrity, respect, service and excellence, I can’t see a better organization than Toastmasters to help air cadets deliver on their vision while meeting their values!
The air cadets’ contestants ranged from grade eight to eleven. Their prepared speeches were well thought out and profound. They were like “mini Toastmasters” because they encompassed vocal variety, gestures, pauses and facial expressions. They all delivered their speeches with no notes and they moved about the stage making strong eye contact with the audience. Their confidence level was truly outstanding! Chandra had dedicated countless hours in coaching their future leaders in delivering quality speeches.
The best thing I learned about this contest was related to the rich rewards of collaboration between the two organizations. There was mutual benefit for the 845 Avro Arrow squadron and for the Port Credit Toastmasters Club because we each had a forum in which we were able to achieve our respective visions. Think about how much more we can all benefit and achieve when we collaborate with others who have similar visions to ours!