Speakers vie for international Toastmasters trophy

Pride and prejudice were the winning topics this month for two Claremonters on their way towards the Toastmasters International Speech Contest in August.

Claremont Graduate University student Nestor Ramirez took pride in inspiring his audience with “My Fight for an American Life.” This patriotic speech chronicled his against-all-odds story of becoming an American citizen, soldier, and scholar. Deena Benjamin’s speech, “A Change of Heart,” was an insightful oratory on how racial prejudice can be generational but also remediated. She used examples from her own experiences as well as from Broadway show tunes.

Resident Tom Volz took the first-place trophy in the Table Topics contest, where speakers are judged on their ability to speak extemporaneously.

All three speakers will advance to the Division A Toastmasters final to be held Saturday, April 12 at Western University in Pomona. Information is available through eventbrite.com under “Toastmasters Division A contests” or Karendevries@verizon.net. For more information about Toastmasters, visit toastmasters.org.


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