Why Speaking Fellows

by Alejandra Figueroa, Speaking Fellow ’16

A Speaking Fellow inspired me long before I even enrolled at Barnard College. Her name was Tabia Santos. When she got up to speak, the whole room was silent. Her words mesmerized us because everything—from her posture to her gestures to the way she projected her voice and enunciated every syllable—reflected confidence. As a 17-year-old, all I thought was: “Wow, I’d love to be like her.” That’s when I wanted to be a Speaking Fellow.

As a senior, I look back and am glad that I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone to apply to be a Speaking Fellow. Not only do I feel that my speaking skills have developed greatly, but I have seen the effects of my speaking support on my peers. Public speaking requires a great degree of confidence—or at least the air of confidence. It is not easy to stand up in front of a crowd. The skills and experiences that I have gained as a Speaking Fellow are invaluable, and becoming a Speaking Fellow is probably one of the best decisions I made during my college career. If you are a Barnard student considering becoming a Fellow, do not hesitate to apply. Become comfortable with the uncomfortable.






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