By Audrey Willett:
SpeakLingual is all about helping young people feel more comfortable with public speaking. Please enjoy our interview with SpeakLingual's founder, Chantelle.
AW: Tell us all about you and your organization!
C: I’m Chantelle, and I am the founder of SpeakLingual. I developed a passion for public speaking through becoming involved in an extracurricular known as Model U.N., and I thought it would be an amazing idea to help others develop that same passion through starting this new initiative. SpeakLingual is an organization that aims to create a space for young women and non-binary individuals to comfortably work on their public-speaking skills. Through providing the necessary resources and hosting various events, we hope that we can encourage people to improve in public speaking so that they can one day apply what they’ve learned to necessary situations.
AW: Why do you think it’s important for your generation to let their voices be heard?
C: Youth voices can shape the future, and it’s highly important for our generation to define the changes and improvements we want to see in our society. Our generation has the opportunity to bring lasting change by voicing our concerns and supporting what we believe is right. By being informed and empowered to act, we have the ability to influence the decisions of older generations to ensure that the choices made reflect our core beliefs and visions of what the future should look like. We are absolutely capable of piloting important decisions, and we are capable of understanding that we are an integral part of society. By educating ourselves, speaking up, and taking action, our generation can help lead fights against injustices.
AW: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
C: I’m optimistic. Through striving for action and change in present society, I believe that we have the potential to impact the future for the better.
AW: What are the most important issues facing our world right now? And in the future?
C: There are many issues that have had an impact on various groups in society for a long period of time. These social issues are often rooted in the foundation of various institutions, and I believe that, as a result, they may still be prevalent in the future if we don’t tackle them at their root. It is extremely important to raise our voices and advocate for change in response to these issues. The important issues our society continues to face include racial injustice and discrimination, poverty, homelessness, gender inequality, climate change, and gun violence. They continue to affect various communities across the globe and will continue to have an impact if action is not taken. Integral changes need to be made in our society if we wish to address these problems.
AW: What does your organization offer that helps the world be a better place?
C: A prevalent issue that SpeakLingual seeks to address is the inherent
lack of support that women receive when pursuing careers with a heavy focus in public speaking. We offer free resources for our target demographic in the hopes that they can feel comfortable confronting the fear that they associate with public speaking.
Through support from SpeakLingual, we hope that young women and non-binary individuals can gain the courage to be able to speak confidently, regardless of the path they choose in life. There exists a misconception embedded into our society that women are not as capable at public speaking or at comprehending politics as men are, and debunking these labels is a goal that our organization has strived to achieve.
AW: Will you be voting in the next election?
C: I will be eligible to vote in the next Canadian election, so I will be voting after careful deliberation, consideration, and research into the candidates and their platforms.
AW: Please tell us all about your current campaigns, projects, and endeavors. Tell everyone where to find you online and on social platforms.
C: SpeakLingual has an Instagram (@speaklingual), where we post twice a week. Our content is related to public speaking, and we post information such as tips, influential figures in public speaking, and more! We are also in the process of planning events for the end of July and the first week of August; one of the events will be focused on effective leadership (how to lead an organization, event, or project), and the other event will be focused on public speaking. Registrations will open early to mid July, and we will be putting a link to the forms on our Instagram. Additionally, team member applications are still open and will be open until the middle or end of July. The applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and you can apply using the link in our bio.
AW: If there is anything else you would like to say, please do!
C: Thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to partake in this interview! We love what your organization is doing, and we are more than happy to continue supporting you in the future. We also hope that those who have read this interview have gained something from it; we want to inspire others to take action in their own communities, and we love supporting those who do so.
Audrey Willett is a southern California sophomore in high school. She is an activist and aspiring filmmaker, and the Social Media Outreach coordinator for The Gen Z Collective.