Empowering 12 schools (4 Title I schools) and 600+ students with free public speaking & debate education

Our Mission

As our world faces unprecedented challenges and undergoes immense technological advancement, fresh thinkers and solutions are crucial. That's why diversity in thought and leadership is paramount. Thus, we look to the next generation— one that is diverse, creative, and adaptive. In order to build effective solutions for the challenges of tomorrow, underrepresented students and communities TODAY need to be engaged and brought into the discussion, and we accomplish that through a universal public speaking & debate education.

Our mission is a universal public speaking & debate education for all. We accomplish this through speaking to elected officials such as the CA Department of Education about increasing access to public speaking education and teaching free after-school programs, mentoring youth through public speaking.

 

Public speaking & debate education produces dynamic Americans proficient in the 4 “Cs” of 21st century skills—critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. This is crucial in the workforce and all fields, especially STEAM. Public speaking & debate are also equalizers for minority achievement and at-risk youth (long proposed by former US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan). 72% of high-risk secondary-school debaters graduate, versus just 43% of high-risk non-debaters.

In the Press & Recognition

Program recognized in The Mercury News

Program Founder Rachel Wu honored as 2020 Community Hero by Assemblymember Kansen Chu

Program recognized in The Milpitas Beat

Parent & Student Feedback

Thank you, Rachel and team!  I enjoyed your program in helping my kids with their shy personalities.  The program helped them learn to use technology tools for speech and debate.

 

This program also introduces them to something new that they normally would not do. It was a very nice experience overall.  We appreciate you and your team.  Keep up the wonderful work you are doing! 

- Kelly Yip-Chuan, Milpitas Unified School District School Board Trustee, parent of students Carissa Chuan, Karina Chuan, and Kaylana Chuan

Thank you, John Sinnott Elementary PTA!

The Speech & Debate Program has offered a great opportunity for kids to hone their presentation skills.

I have pleasantly witnessed the progress that my 9-year old daughter Audrey has made during the five-week program. She had never been one to comfortably speak in front of an audience.

 

And yet, upon her completion of the program, she has become much more confident in her oratorical skills, and most importantly, she has grown to embrace public speaking as a way to communicate her ideas and influence others.

 

The Speech & Debate Program has gently nudged Audrey out of her shell and showed her a world of new possibilities, and for that, I'm immensely grateful.

- Lili Luo, parent of student Audrey Shen

To be an articulate speaker and writer is an asset that is desired by many, including my son, Shamir. 

 

He recently attended the 2020 Summer Debate Program and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Shamir looked forward to each session with great enthusiasm. He enjoyed the homework immensely because they were fun, engaging and also because they helped him to build skills that he desired.  

For his final homework, he had to write a speech.  While videotaping his presentation, I saw a lot of skills emerge. He was more persuasive, confident and was able to thoroughly explain his reasoning and evidence. His eye contact and gesticulation skills were off the charts!  I saw great improvement in his oral and written skills. Overall, his communication skills and self esteem improved to a great extent.  

 

Thank you Ms. Rachel Wu and Mr. Charles Schletzbaum for this amazing program!  I would encourage other parents to seek out this program for their children. It really made a huge difference for my son and I.

-Coral Dunn-Morley, parent of student Shamir Morley

This public speaking class has helped me a lot. One thing I enjoyed most about this class is seeing the slideshows.

 

Instead of just listening to the teacher speak, I got to see images and videos. I love to watch slideshows and videos. It was helpful to me since I am a visual learner. It was an easy and interesting way for me to dig deeper into public speaking.

 

Another thing I loved about this class is getting to do assignments during class to practice public speaking. That way I can improve faster. Practice makes perfect!
 

I learned many things from this class that helped enhance my presentation skills. I didn’t know about
ethos, logos and pathos and many other skills before I took this class. These skills helped me understand how to construct a good speech/argument.

 

This class has encouraged me to continue learning about public speaking. It even brought me to the thought of creating YouTube videos to teach others about public speaking.
 

I am inspired to pursue public speaking. I hope to one day be part of a high school debate team and then advance to teaching kids about public speaking.

- Audrey Shen, 4th grade student

This public speaking class has introduced me to terms such as Speaker's Triangle, Ethos, Pathos, and Logos, structure of a speech and so on.

 

I gained a lot of confidence with this session. My parents would usually be the one writing my speech. But with the support and guidance from my instructor, I got to write my own speech.

 

All the things I learned were a little hard to understand initially but the slides and videos our teacher showed, really paid off. I am really grateful for this wonderful session which inspired me to take debate/public speaking to the next level!

Neirah Hafis, 4th grade student

I am very glad that I had a chance to be in the Public Speaking Debate class. I really enjoyed that my teacher is very enthusiastic and teaches very well in teaching about speech.

 

Before I started this Camp, I was very shy about speaking in front of a lot of people but my teacher helped me get over it and has taught me a lot of things about speech like Ethos, Logos, and Pathos! She has also taught our class tips for speaking in public.

 

I am very satisfied with the teaching and I am really looking forward to joining pursuing speech & debate/public speaking class in fall!!!

Eunice Lee, 4th grade student

The Summer '20 Public Speaking Camp was really an amazing learning experience. My teacher was really helpful and her lessons really changed the way I see Public Speaking now. She taught me many techniques to make me seem more interesting when I speak, such as Eye Contact, Pacing, Inflection, Enunciation, and a lot more!

 

I am not exactly a pro when it comes to speaking in public, but this class taught me things that made me think out of the box. I am really looking forward to the next program!

- Pari Gothoskar, 7th grade student

Select featured students who had final project speeches of exceptional quality out of the 300 students that participated in the Summer 2020 Online Public Speaking Program!