Letter from Darrin C. C.
Sugar Land, Texas
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
My name is Darrin and I know that God loves me! The reason I know this is because I am a living witness of His power, glory, and, most of all, His grace and Mercy. Many people will say we serve a God of 2nd chances…….Well I say that is wrong!! We serve a God of chances, because if he only dealt in 2nd chances none of us (namely me) would have made it this far!
All my life, since the age of 7, I have known that God called me to do something. At the age of 18, I became Muslim and rebelled against God. For 7 years I did that. In my heart I knew that I wanted to help those less fortunate than myself and speak to at-risk youth about what may become of them if they continued down a road of destruction.
They say, “Becareful what you wish for”. In 2001 I was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a crime I did commit! Guilty as charged!! God still had a plan for me. He introduced me to a program called Toastmasters. Knowing only that it was a group of public speakers, I took a chance on it to see what I could learn. Next to accepting Jesus in my life and giving forgiveness that I denied to others, in my 27 years on this earth it is by far one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Today, after 3 years in the Toastmasters program, I am proud to say that I am an Advanced Toastmaster! Receiving this title after having to successfully prepare and giving over 20 speeches and also receiving the Competent Gavelier (CG) award Advanced Toastmaster Bronze (ATM-B) awards respectively. Toastmasters has taught me how to better communicate with others, not only by using the proper words to get my point across, but also by being a good listener. Listening to others has been a wonderful tool that I have learned and applied to everyday life. I have found that listening to others offers them the freedom and respect to express their thoughts and ideas openly. Even if one does not agree with what is being said, it still shows respectfulness toward others when you give them the opportunity to speak without interruption. This has helped me because often times I refused to listen to others if their ideas did not match up with my own. Toastmasters offers the chance for you to receive constructive criticism from a group of your peers in a positive manner. Not only do you give speeches, but what is probably more important is the discipline it takes to choose a topic and research it thoroughly and present it accordingly. I have been able to enhance not only my speaking and listening skills, but also my ability to work well with others as a team, being patient and, most of all, witnessing for Jesus Christ.
Enclosed with this letter you will find a letter that I wrote to the NCAA, which is the governing body of all college sports. Every day I read in the paper that some student athlete is in trouble with the law in some form or fashion. I was inspired by God and willed by Toastmasters to share my personal story with every single man or woman who is currently a student athlete in or at a college institution. That is over 1500 schools and thousands of young men and women. It is my prayer that through this letter that bares just a small bit of my testimony, that those young men and women who may hear it or read it for themselves will take heed to it and choose not the path that I have followed.
Thank you for your time. Without Toastmasters I don’t know where I would be as a person, a human being in this world. Three years ago through Christ (who gave me many chances) a program helped save my life and that program is Toastmasters!