many Toastmaster events including the debate presented last year at Coal Ridge Middle
School, where some of those participants acted as judges for the student debate later that year.
Networking develops momentum. A few months ago after Kim’s husband told her about the 2010 District 26 Fall conference, she
contacted Julia Davis, current District 26 Governor and former IBM Toastmaster club mentor when Jim was the club President. For
some time, familiar with Albert Mensah’s work, Kim had wanted her students to hear him speak. Surprised to learn he was the
keynote speaker for the conference, Kim asked if there was any way the fee could be waived so the kids could attend. Julia obliged.
But more happened before the conference. Kim tells, "one night while listening to an online speech by Mr. Mensah I decided to
send him an email asking if …my students might meet and talk with him…at the conference….I was shocked when about an hour later I
received an email from Mr. Mensah himself. We ended up corresponding for about 4 weeks prior to the conference…my students’
excitement grew every week."
Finally on their way, during the hour’s drive students were "drilled on behavior, decorum, even how to shake hands and how to
introduce themselves. While I was registering, Mr. Mensah walked past the students and introduced himself…it was as though someone
had injected each of them with adrenaline, not a foot was touching the floor."
The kids from a school called "Imagine" and a man from the jungle of Ghana who realized his dream, who imagined his own
possibilities and made getting to the United States the focus of his life to become a world-class motivational speaker, met
face-to-face, shook hands and exchanged words, sharing the same world for a only few short minutes. Yet each would take away
something that would make life a little richer, a little more interesting, with a sense of greater possibilities. Not bad for a
field trip to a Toastmasters conference.