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Community Last Updated: Jul 9, 2020 - 10:09:33 AM

MODELING LEADERSHIP: Club 1600 aims to positively impact troubled youths
By Tosheena Blair, Precision Media
Jul 9, 2020 - 10:20:48 AM

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The First Bahamas Branch of Toastmasters, Club 1600 will help teens at the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys unlock their leadership potential. The move to improve the youths’ communication and interpersonal skills will be spearheaded by the incoming executive team. From left to right: Secretary Lyndon Wallace; VP of Public Relations, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) Ray-Don K. Poitier; VP of Membership, Edward Thurston; VP of Education, Devaughn Taylor; President Shacoy Munnings; immediate past President, Ancin Munnings; Treasurer Stefan Bonimy and Sergeant at Arms, Orthnel Smith.

Their goal is to change the future for troubled youths often considered a threat to society and quite possibly to themselves.
Teen juveniles assigned to the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys through court convictions should not be written off. According to Shacoy Mullings, the newly installed president of Toastmasters Club 1600, they have potential and his organization wants to help them unleash it.
“We will provide them with opportunities for personal growth through the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program,” announced the 56th president of the first branch of Toastmasters in The Bahamas, a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills.
“In these sessions, we will drive home the importance of critical thinking, teach conflict resolution methods and help build students’ confidence to express their ideas.”
Mr Mullings’ remarks came during the installation ceremony of the club’s 2020/2021 executive team on Thursday, July 2, at the British Colonial Hilton.
Due to physical distancing measures brought on by the new coronavirus and the COVID-19 illness it causes, it was a small gathering, around 60 persons, on hand to mark such an auspicious occasion. Dozens more joined in via Zoom.
Aside from Mr Mullings, six other officers were pinned. The executives include VP of Education, Devaughn Taylor; VP of Membership, Edward Thurston; VP of Public Relations, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) Ray-Don K. Poitier; Secretary Lyndon Wallace; Treasurer Stefan Bonimy and Sergeant at Arms, Orthnel Smith.
On hand to witness the event were family, friends, Club 1600 members and Toastmasters’ officials including Region 8 International Director, Anthony Longley (DTM); Division I Director, Verna Bonaby (DTM) and Area 92 Director, Hubert Edwards.
In his keynote address DTM Keith Major urged the men to have goals which extends beyond the
“You must have a personal goal, a personal dream,” he charged. “The country needs more business
owners. It needs more leadership in all of the companies. Your goal should be outside of Toastmasters
with this as the vehicle.”
During their one-year term in office, which runs from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, the executive team will bring renewed focus and energy to the reform school – building on the foundation established back in 2015 under then president Carlos Palacious.
Over the coming months, Club 1600 members will impart knowledge, share experiences, give support and advice to those with absentee fathers or individuals who are simply in need of mentoring at the Simpson Penn Centre.
No stranger to mentorship, Mr Mullings is one of the masterminds behind Success Code Camp, a website and game development summer programme offered free of charge last year to children between the ages of 12 to 16-years-old. It was hosted at C. I. Gibson High School.
He later donated three new desktop computers to the school in appreciation of the role it played in facilitating the training session.
His track record exemplifies the club’s theme for this year, “Transformational leadership for this new era.”
“In order to transform yourself and others you cannot be a person who gives up easily. You need to have endurance and the ability to stay the course. A transformational leader is resilient. Throughout my life, resilience has been my saving grace, especially as a boy growing up on Ida Street.”
He added: “I remember wondering to myself, ‘Can anything good come out of Ida Street?’ I stand here as a testament that something good can come from Ida Street. Indeed, something good can come from any community in the inner city of New Providence or from any settlement of our Family Islands. As long as we have organizations such as Toastmasters International which is known to embrace individuals wherever they are on their life’s journey, individuals can become empowered and inspired to meet their full potential.”
Other initiatives on the drawing board for the 2020/2021 executive team include chartering new clubs, virtual training opportunities and leadership workshop for members and officers.

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