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Dr. Beverly Jones Durr: Founder and CEO of Every Child Has A Story

Every Child Has A Story empowers children to use their unique stories to build self-confidence, public speaking skills, and more. They envision a world where every child’s story is heard, which improves academic performance, social skills, and self-esteem. Learn more about their work here!


Can you tell me about the kids you work with? 


The kids I serve are ages 7 -17, although we have had some success with a younger group.  These are youth from all walks of life,  across a diverse demographic who have not always felt confident in their own skin.  They are aware of the world around them, and surprisingly have plenty to say about it. 


How do your programs help children learn how to communicate their unique story? 


The non-profit was developed with the simple mission of building or enhancing confidence and self-esteem in youth one child at a time.  We developed three programs, Speech Crafters, Writers Vibe and The Legacy Business Academy.  Each program addresses communication in different forms. Speech Crafters enable youth to create and present speeches around things they enjoyed. Four levels, each a little more challenging, create confidence and self-esteem in their voices.  Writers Vibe addressed written communication by helping them develop the words to describe the stories they want to share.  This showed up as poetry, spoken word, short stories and even published books.  We have 27 published youth authors on Amazon.  The Legacy Business Academy, addresses communication as an entrepreneur. They learned real time business skills such as writing a business plan, learning about investments and stocks, developing a product or service and testing the market, to name a few things.  Communication, or the ability to convey a message across a diverse audience is a skill that build confidence and self esteem


How does public speaking affect confidence and self-esteem in children? 


Public speaking can be scary and difficult for even the most polished adult.  When it comes to youth, it can be paralyzing. They are offered a safe place to practice and test their skills at not only speaking to their peers, but they get the opportunity to address adults.  The topics must meet a pre-set criteria but can be about anything that interests the speaker. I cannot tell you how many speeches I have heard on Minecraft.  The point is to get them comfortable using their voice, developing their topics and creating words they feel comfortable speaking.  Repetition of this process is key, hence why they are four levels of competency.  When a child has stellar confidence and self esteem, they feel good about themselves, make better choices, get better grades and are happy.


What is the best part of your job? 


My role and founder and CEO is to ensure the quality of instruction and interaction we present to our community's children.  I love interacting with the youth and seeing them blossom and develop into who they were born to be. The face of a child whose parent said was shy, standing on stage in front of an audience presenting with confidence is the best thing ever.  I love what I do, I feel I was born to do it. How wonderful is that?

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