Terrence: A Story About Courage

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Terrence was a young boy who attended one of my speech and debate workshops for kids. We had just finished our first speech lesson and it was time to present a speech. This speech was the Getting To Know You speech and it was 4-6 minutes long. Speeches are timed using the signal method, Green at 4 minutes, Yellow at 5 minutes and Red at 6 minutes with 30 seconds to wrap it up. Terrence volunteered to go first. As he approached the front of the room, his big smile began to fade.  Terrence took a breath and slowly started his speech presentation looking everywhere in the room except the audience. When he finally finished he raised his head only to find out that he hadn’t made it to the green signal. Feeling frustrated, he returned to his seat. Others got up and presented their speeches. Some making it to the green and some not even close.

Before long, I noticed Terrence had his hand up. He wanted to try again. Once again he returned to the front of the room and began his speech. And once again, Terrence fell short of the 4 minute minimum. However, this time Terrence didn’t give up. He asked if he could try one more time.  I almost asked, “Are you sure?” except Terrence has a look in his eyes and his mannerisms that led me to believe that this time would be different…and it was. Not only did he speak to the green, Terrence spoke to the yellow and right up to the red!  At each signal I saw him stand taller, look his audience in the eyes, and smile. His speech was amazing, but more important was the courage he mustered together that activated his super power! Terrence didn’t give up! He kept pushing through until he was successful.  His super power was confidence and he built from the ground up!

Have you ever tried something new that didn’t turn out like you planned?  Did you give up or did you push through the frustration to success.  No matter what we do in life getting to success doesn’t happen without some setbacks. If you allow setbacks to hold you back, you’ll never know what you are capable of doing. Courage isn’t just something for super heroes. Ordinary people, like Terrence find the courage to do the things they want to do successfully. Encourage your kids to push through their frustration. Let them know that you have faith in them. With the right support and encouragement success is inevitable for every child when they don’t give up.

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Beverly Jones-Durr is founder of Every Child Has a Story,  a registered 501(c)(3) public non - profit organization that was created to empower today's youth by becoming the bridge in the proverbial village it takes to raise a child, connecting families and communities in a reciprocal learning experience. Through our programs, Speech Crafters Speech and Debate Club, “The Only Public Speaking Club for Kids and Teens in AL,” and “The Writer’s Vibe, “Empowering the Voices of Today’s Youth through Words,” we build stellar communication skills enhancing self-confidence and self-esteem in children and families across communities. If you would like to help Every Child Has a Story provide continued empowerment, training, workshops, and educational support to children, teens and young adults, please consider volunteering or donate.  Your support enables us to continue our mission to enhance and develop self-esteem, self-confidence, cultivate leadership and develop oral and written communication skills in children, teens and young adults.  Please click here to complete your donation through our secure and easy online donation process. Subscribe to our newsletter so you can receive updates on our successes and development of new programs. I promise we will not spam you. You can also follow Beverly on TwitterFaceBook and YouTube