You’ll Never Guess Where the Best Toastmasters Are

This is the best Toastmasters meeting I’ve ever attended. I listened to three speeches tonight: an ice-breaker, a speech on pushing your limits, and an inspirational speech titled “Assume the Position,” a world-class speech about having the courage to assume your calling in life. Everyone was prepared, powerful, and on purpose. Everyone here is in prison.

This is the California Rehabilitation Center for men in Norco, the home of clubs “Astute” and “Striving for Change” under the leadership of Area Director Marco Rodriguez, Sr.


This a standing-room only club–where the pledge of allegiance is recited with gusto, where the president leads the members in a raucous cheer for Toastmasters, and where the speeches make your eyes well up.  What makes this special environment club so special?  The answer is that every one here tries their utmost best. They’re giving every ounce of effort because their life is at stake—a life of freedom, a life of redemption—when they get out.

Having something at stake brings out the best in us.  The next time you step into your Toastmasters meeting, your job, or any endeavor, ask yourself, “What do I have at stake?”

Categories: Personal Empowerment

5 replies

  1. Thank you for posting your experience with the prisoners. Given a chance to change harmful ways will certainly benefit them upon release. This is why I volunteer for the women of Crossroads. It is amazing what they can accomplish with emotional and physical support.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have the same experience at Chuckawalla. Thank you for bringing this incredible Toastmasters benefit to light. Their dedication to communication and leadership is beyond measure and so exciting to witness the growth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Being a Volunteer Toastmaster Mentor with the inmates at CRC Norco & CIM Chino prisons has been a long and rewarding experience all these years with Toastmasters at my side. Words can not paint the trillions of etched-in memories/pictures of what it is to give back as a Volunteer and a Toastmaster Mentor in the prisons. One can only experience the power of this gift for yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read your article to the Inmates yesterday and they all enjoyed it. They told me to thank you for writing it. We held a special holiday program called “Table Topic Tag” where one inmate answered a topic and then randomly selected another inmate to respond to his topic. I took holiday treats for the inmates which numbered 50. Marco Rodriguez Sr., Area E5 Director

    Liked by 1 person

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