by Kim Story, DTM, Club Extension Chair
I grew up in Coppell. As a kid, I was involved in dance and gymnastics, but my biggest passions were soccer and debate. I love the outdoors and looked forward to our annual family reunions in Tennessee where we would spend the whole week boating, camping, white water rafting, and hiking in the mountains of the Cherokee National Forest. I have always believed that life is an adventure, meant to be enjoyed.
I studied Communication and Spanish at Texas A&M University in College Station, and did some graduate work in Communication at Wake Forest in North Carolina, even teaching a Public Speaking class. Shortly after I moved back to Dallas, I found that my part-time activities would have a profound effect on my future. I took a job as a Teacher for Princeton Review, teaching SAT & ACT part-time. For the next decade, I taught and tutored hundreds of students while still working full-time in other occupations. 3 1/2 years ago I was brought on full-time at KD College Prep – a DFW-based company – and now get to work with families, guiding them through the process of preparing for college and helping their students achieve the test scores necessary to get accepted. I also have the opportunity to edit & create our Math Curriculum. I am so blessed to have a career where every day I am able to help high-school students reap the rewards of hard work and help them achieve their dreams of going to college (and hopefully earning scholarships!)
This month I celebrate my 4-Year Anniversary in Toastmasters. 4 years ago, I was not in a great place in my life. I was extremely unhappy in my career – I changed jobs 4 times in the first 6 months of being a member until I was hired at KD. I was unhappy with my physical appearance – I had become the girl who only wore T-shirts and Adidas windpants, EVERYWHERE. I was unhappy with my financial situation, having only barely avoided bankruptcy a couple of years before. But I was reading all of the right books: How To Win Friends & Influence People; Rich Dad, Poor Dad; Think & Grow Rich; The Magic of Thinking Big; See You At The Top; The Secret. During this process I saw a recurring theme, many of these authors recommended Toastmasters and many of the motivational speakers I loved got their start in Toastmasters. At the beginning of 2014, I made a resolution to join Toastmasters. By November, I had not joined Toastmasters. I visited Afterburners on a Tuesday the week before Thanksgiving and became a member the first week in December.
I joined because I have a dream of being a motivational speaker and published author. I joined because authors that I respect told me to.
I stay because of the friends I have made over the last 4 years. I stay because of the encouragement I have received. I stay because it is so much FUN. And I stay because Toastmasters makes it so easy to have short- and long-term goals to work for.
I took the position of Club Extension Chair this year because I love Toastmasters. Toastmasters works! Everyone needs Toastmasters. Everyone needs to improve their communication, listening, and leadership skills. You don’t ever “get it”. There is always something to learn. Everyone could use more confidence. And this world needs leaders with INTEGRITY, who know how to RESPECT others, who have a SERVICE-minded attitude, but can still achieve EXCELLENCE. This world needs Toastmasters and I want to do my small part to help share Toastmasters with others. Thank you for this opportunity.