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 member fee is waived, annual Gavel Club dues are half-price of annual international dues, and there are the same annual club dues that adults pay.
      → The annual youth membership at Tragicomedy Toastmasters is currently $50 (paid in full, not prorated).
      → 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, Joseph Esler, DTM:
    tragicomedy-ylp@toastmost.org