Youth Leadership Program

The Youth Leadership Program enables young people under the age of 18 to develop their communication and leadership skills through practical experience. The program is led by a coordinator who attends each meeting. Participants are selected by a sponsoring Toastmasters club and/or by a cooperating organization (such as a school). Meetings generally follow a format akin to that of a Toastmasters club meeting, with an announced agenda that includes practice in parliamentary procedure, prepared and impromptu presentations, and the selection of a Presiding Officer.

Become a Gavelier

  • The Youth Leadership Program is a distinctive feature of Tragicomedy Toastmasters.
  • Few Toastmasters clubs participate in the Youth Leadership Program. Moreover, if they do, it is almost always for a finite duration, such as eight weeks, with almost entirely youth and just a few adults.
  • Tragicomedy Toastmasters runs an ongoing Youth Leadership Program in the form of a Gavel Club:
    • Youth (aka Gaveliers) meet concurrently with adults (aka Toastmasters):
      → All members are treated equally—there is no distinction between Gaveliers or Toastmasters for weekly meeting roles or for club officer positions.
      → Consequently, youth have the opportunity to learn in a Toastmasters environment where the expectations are the same for Gaveliers as for Toastmasters.
      → The only difference between Gaveliers and Toastmasters is Gaveliers are on the traditional education system, where they earn Competent Communicator and Competent Leader awards, instead of Pathways.
    • Rather than just eight weeks (as with the standard Youth Leadership Program), the Tragicomedy Gavel Club membership is for a full year:
      → For Gaveliers, the new international member fee is waived, annual Gavel Club dues are half-price of annual international dues, up to three months of Gavel Club dues are charged in advance, and there are the same annual club dues as well as the new club member fee that adults pay.
      → Currently, the annual youth membership at Tragicomedy Toastmasters is up to $135.
      → Gaveliers submit the same membership application but pay only club dues to Tragicomedy Toastmasters and must have the signature of a parent or legal guardian who is over the age of 18 on the second page (where it says “Verification of Applicant”).
  • Our concurrent Gavelier/Toastmaster concept is modeled after the Secondary School Program at Harvard Summer School, where youth and adults learn from each other in college and graduate courses.

Become a Toastmaster

  • Upon completion of the Youth Leadership Program and becoming an adult, you are eligible to become a Toastmaster.
  • You will then be able to continue your Toastmasters education by enrolling in Pathways.
  • For more info, email our Youth Leadership Program coordinator and Gavel Club counselor, Mary Ellen Pataro, PM5, EH5, PI1: