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Speaking to the Shark Tank




Story and photography contributed by Deborah Sareth ’13, summer communications intern

boy-writing2-dscn0769In Crusade Summer Experience, our summer leadership program for high school students, Crusaders engage in a variety of teambuilding exercises, public speaking practices, scavenger hunts, and even a Cultural Olympics. CSE’s public speaking day, in particular, is packed with challenges for students to conquer. At a recent program week this summer, the day started off with a guest speaker – Joseph Piddle, director of URI Conferences & Special Program Development – who gave an inspirational speech about his unique personal and professional journey. The group then transitioned to a discussion about effective and ineffective methods of public speaking. Students agreed that preparation and knowledge of the material, confidence, eye contact, and volume are all crucial to getting your message across to an audience.

“Be yourself, look people in the eye, and you won’t be as nervous,” said tenth-grade Crusader Samuel Gaston.

Then everyone got ready for the Shark Tank exercise! Working together in small groups, Crusaders were presented with contemporary urban issues such as rising unemployment or teen pregnancy and instructed to combat these issues with innovative solutions. They brainstormed ideas and wrote proposals to present to our College Crusade Advisors, who played the role of billionaire entrepreneurs deciding whose concepts would be “approved and funded.” To be even more persuasive, Crusaders created and performed skits – some humorous, some serious. One group suggested establishing a government-funded program to provide financial aid and emotional support for teen mothers while also raising awareness of the effects of having children at a young age.

Eleventh grader Arondae Wilson summed up the day by saying, “Teamwork is everyone coming together and agreeing on one thing to make it to success.” Congratulations to more than 80 students who participated in CSE this summer, and a big thanks to the University of Rhode Island for hosting us!

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