Instituted in 1993, the YMCA of San Diego County's Annual
Public Speaking Contest helps to build self-esteem and confidence in YMCA youth
through the development of their public speaking and leadership skills. Thanks
to a grant from the Ruth Lane Charitable Foundation, the YMCA program and
contest is now in its 17th year.

Thousands of youth from throughout the county complete a six
week curriculum which then leads to branch and site finals and ultimately the

The finals will be held June 12, 2010 at the corporate
office of the YMCA of San Diego County at 11 a.m. Finalists will compete
for a grand prize of $250.

Each speech will be approximately two minutes long and they
will speak to the topic of ¢‰âÒHow do I make a difference using the four core YMCA
values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility?¢‰âÂå

Participants are all currently a part of YMCA after-school
programs throughout San Diego

These programs are funded through Education and Safety
grants received through local school districts, the County of San Diego's
Critical Hours programs, parent fees and YMCA Annual Support Campaign

There are more than 10,000 youth involved in YMCA
after-school programs and this year more than 1,000 young people received
public speaking training through this program.

The comprehensive curriculum is based on the Toastmasters
International model. The lessons cover
specific elements that assist youth in preparing speeches as well as preparing a presentation.

The contestants compete in two categories; elementary school
youth and middle school youth. Contestants
are judged on content, delivery and effectiveness of their speeches.

Each participant will receive a certificate and the site
winners are presented with a $10 Border's Bookstore gift card. Winners at the regional and branch level receive
a $100 American Express gift card. Final
grand prize winners each receive an additional $250 gift card.