It was a great honor to receive the Quarterly Toastmasters Area Director award. What an honor! How did I get to this? Please allow me to tell you.

I was born in China and studied in Japan before moving to the USA in 2010, facing a challenging language barrier. To enhance my English-speaking skills, I actively participated in English classes and multicultural organizations, as highlighted in a 2011 Winchester Star article:

https://www.wickedlocal.com/story/the-winchester-star/2011/03/04/meet-one-recent-winchester-immigrant/38334730007/

Volunteering in nursing homes and engaging in conversations with diverse individuals further fueled my commitment to improving my English.

In my quest for professional development, a friend introduced me to Toastmasters. Discovering that Winchester Toastmasters had been established for only two years, I eagerly joined as an official member after attending my first meeting as a guest. Nervously delivering my icebreaker speech, I received warm smiles and supportive feedback, motivating me to become a dedicated member and support others in their journey.

Toastmasters became my priority as I strove to enhance my English skills alongside fellow members. Participating in multiple contests to challenge myself, I achieved 4th place in the 2022 international speech at the Area level and won 1st in the 2023 area contest, ranking 4th in the Division contest.

In 2022, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and with a small group of active members, our officer team recommended me to become the club president. Despite initial doubts about the adequacy of my speaking abilities, I dedicated myself to serving the club, prioritizing its development over personal achievement.Throughout the year, our dedicated team of officers recruited 16 new members, expanding the club’s size.

In 2023, club officers and district leaders recommended that I take on the area director role, a challenge that I hesitated to take on. With encouragement from leaders and colleagues and a dedication to serving the clubs, I embraced the challenge. Supported by Division Director Phyllis Kirouac and following the outlined schedule, I made visits to the clubs under my care. Club presidents and officers were cooperative, appreciating my visits. I promptly wrote a detailed and positive report to support the clubs. Through this quarterly visiting and leadership training process, I realized that I benefited the most from serving them.

As a new area director, I fulfilled my responsibilities with passion and appreciation for the honor bestowed upon me. I am grateful for the support from leaders such as Christian Austin and Phyllis Kirouac, as well as the training provided by the organization leaders. I attribute the success to the hard work of officers and members. In 2024, I am committed to continuing to serve the clubs, improving my speech skills to match the level of excellence in the area director role, and further supporting the division director’s work.

Congratulations on your award, and thank you for your service to the district and its members Linqqin!

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