Congratulations to the following Toastmasters who will be receiving the Members Making a Difference Award at the Spring 2015 Conference held April 24 to April 26th.
Distinguished Toastmaster, Phillip Chen brings hope to many youth in Jamaica. He is a Member Making A Difference in the lives of the many young men and women he meets, by offering them a rare opportunity, the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program (YLP).
Born in Jamaica, Phillip left his homeland for Canada in 1973, joining Toastmasters in 2001. In 2008, Phillip began offering the YLP to the Brampton Air Cadets, who were ages 14-17 years. His home club, Markham Sweet Talkers, offered wonderful support and the program ran for two years.
Phillip decided to offer the YLP to 24 girls at the all girl school, Mary Mount High School in Jamaica. To do so, he compressed the eight sessions, usually spread over eight weeks, into two days. The girls enjoyed it so much that Phillip extended the program to other country schools in Jamaica. With the support of his sister, Sister Colleen, a member of the Franciscans and his home club, Markham Sweet Talkers, he has now presented the YLP 3 times in Jamaica.
On his regular visits home, most recently just one year ago, he again took two days out of his vacation to facilitate the YLP. Each year, he has become increasingly aware of the need to extend the program into the countryside. “The poor too, need leaders in their communities,” he said.
Sister Grace Yap, Director of Franciscan Ministries Jamaica, suggested offering the program to underprivileged boys working on the farm. Phillip boldly followed her suggestion and worked with a mixed group of 30 boys & girls, ages 12-19, in Braes River, St. Elizabeth. He sought to give these youths basic speaking & leadership skills. Although the program lasted for only two days, the youths were able to absorb a tremendous amount of information and they were thrilled to be given the opportunity to express themselves. During one YLP session a boy admitted, “Mr. Chen, I cannot do a presentation, I don’t know how.” Phillip encouraged him: “Push yourself! You can do this! Apply yourself to the YLP and you will get to university!”
Phillip Chen continues to demonstrate he is a Member Making a Difference.
Rose A. Weinberg, ACS, ALB
Rose A. Weinberg, Advance Communicator Silver, Advance Communicator Bronce, Current Area 24 Governor, Triple Crown Recipeint 2014, DTM Summer of 2015 is making a difference for people with cancer, and their families one Reiki-blanket at a time.
Cancer touched Rose’s family at the young age of six years old, when she lost her grandmother. Spending what seemed a lifetime, alongside millions of others of not knowing what to do when we hear someone we love has been diagnosed with cancer, in December 2010, Rose found her opportunity to make a difference for a family member. She was visiting her cousin Ruth Adams in California, who was undergoing radiation treatment for cancer. Rose is a Wellness Expert and as Reiki Master and educator, Rose was inspired to attune Ruth’s favourite blanket with Reiki-energy. Ruth said that the Reiki-blanket made her feel warm, comfort and peace and helped her during a very difficult time in her life.
This experience inspired Rose to create Project Beam On in 2011, to offer others the same opportunity to send a Reiki-blanket to their loved ones, when they didn’t know what to do. Rose’s vision was to make a difference for people with cancer and their loved ones, through the donation of Reiki-blankets.
TODAY Project Beam On is a non-profit organization making a difference for people touched by cancer, and their loved ones, one Reiki-blanket at a time! Alongside Rose, Project Beam On is run by a team of volunteers, board of directors and new Youth Group Leaders all striving to make a difference in the journey of how someone moves through cancer. Project Beam On is well on it’s way to being a global movement. Project Beam on Reiki-blankets are custom made and are of 100% Canadian-milled organic cotton. They are attuned to Reiki Energy with love, joy and peace by volunteer Reiki Masters to inspire well-being.
Over the past 4 years Project Beam On has made a difference for over 750 adults and children, with cancer and their families in over 11 countries. Recipients love their Reiki-blankets and are very grateful for loving energy that Project Beam On offers.
Rose is grateful for the gift of making a difference for someone experiencing cancer. Letting them feel the comfort, warmth and peace this Reiki-blanket offers so that they can feel empowered to heal!
Her vision is that everyone in the world touched by cancer will have the comfort, warmth and support of a Project Beam On Reiki-blanket. She believes this will help grow the vibration of human consciousness to a level of wellness, love and peace!
Rose A. Weinberg is not only a Wellness Expert - Reiki Master/educator, but a Toastmaster Member Making a Difference.
Osbert D'Souza ACB
Advanced Communicator Bronze Osbert D’Souza is a coach for an Air Cadet squadron debate team. The Air Cadet League of Canada Ontario Provincial Committee hosts an annual debating competition in Hamilton for air cadet squadrons throughout the province – Osbert is an active coach in that program.
The air cadet debate program is a highly structured and well prepared event that obliges their participants with "a duty to clash". It incorporates discipline of mind and quick reaction along with purposeful speaking presentations. There is a lot of work involved in working with an air cadet debate team.
Osbert volunteered to initiate the debate program with a Mississauga-based squadron of young men and women of varied ethnic backgrounds who, otherwise, would not have had a chance to benefit from such an opportunity. He has converted "newbies" into an annual powerhouse.
Osbert D’Souza is a great credit to the Canadian way of life, but more than that, he’s a Member Making a Difference.