As a mom of two young and energetic boys more than two decades ago, I distinctly recall standing at the kitchen counter thinking to myself: If I do nothing else, I want to be sure they know what they believe and how to talk about it. That thought motivated almost everything that happens throughout the ICC organization today.
After searching in vain for curriculum to train wiggly boys to articulate their ideas well, on and off the platform, I wrote my own and invited like-minded Christian families into a community focused on using communication to impact the culture around us.
The parents began with eager anticipation to raise up ambassadors for Christ. They wanted their children to communicate with excellence; but as their children’s enthusiasm waned, parents questioned the need. “Maybe my daughter just isn’t a speaker.” “My son isn’t cut out to be a leader.” I remember questioning right alongside them as one of my sons had a meltdown in front of the whole class and the other son labeled public speaking “child abuse”.
Public speaking is an important, but often scary, steppingstone toward getting the next generation ready for influence. Because it’s vital and scary, ICC always prioritizes creating safe environments to grow and transform. I can’t even count how many crying kids (and their crying parents) tried one more time because we made it safe for them.
I still shiver with delight as I remember watching a 10-year old girl – who cried during every practice – give an impassioned speech to her entire school assembly. I get goosebumps recalling a middle school boy who “didn’t need this speech stuff” gently sharing helpful tips with the new kids. Despite discouragements, parents who believe in ICC’s mission and vision for their kids’ future take the time and perseverance necessary to get them ready for influence.
Today, ICC is represented throughout the United States and around the globe. Students and their parents and teachers are learning we each have the power to influence culture – not someday, but today. And they are doing just that!
Dr. Teresa Moon, founding President and CEO of the Institute for Cultural Communicators, is an internationally recognized seminar speaker, education consultant, author, and leadership coach. Each year, she travels globally equipping students, teachers, and parents to become “cultural communicators,” transforming ordinary students into extraordinary communicators and authentic leaders.