Lost River senior, FBLA officer provides peers with public speaking tips, advice
If you want advice and tips on how to improve your public speaking, ask Ximena Lemus-Hernandez.
Ximena, a senior at Lost River Junior-Senior High School, was the expert FBLA and DECA chapter advisors turned to when they needed someone to conduct a workshop on public speaking at the Business Skills Academy Tuesday at Klamath Community College.
And for good reason.
The accomplished senior is Cascade Region vice president for Oregon FBLA, student body president at Lost River, a student athlete, member of National Honor Society and is involved with the Malin Community Service Club. She also has expertly honed her public speaking skills.
Ximena addressed a roomful of peers Tuesday, answering their questions and proving by her own expertise that public speaking is a skill that can be practiced and learned. She focused on the acronym S.P.E.A.K., addressing each aspect of speaking – sound, posture, energy, attitude, and knowledge.
Dressed professionally in a blue sheath dress and black blazer, Ximena exuded confidence and poise and yet was approachable. Students asked her questions – both personal and professional – and discussed their fears and experiences.
As a freshman attending a small rural high school, Ximena knew she had to get involved and hone her skills if she wanted to reach her goal of attending law school, becoming a lawyer and opening her own practice.
“I tried to do as much as I could so I could have a competitive resume,” she said. “For me, FBLA was the most important. It promotes progress in a manner that I don’t think any other organization does. It has broadened my opportunities and really helped me lead within my school and my community.”
As a freshman, she qualified and competed in FBLA nationals in Atlanta, Ga., and realized she was passionate about the organization’s mission.
Ivan Hernandez, business teacher at Lost River Junior-Senior High School, has had Ximena in class the past three years and is her FBLA advisor.
“I have been amazed at her determination,” he said. “As soon as I met her I knew she was someone special, someone who knew what she wanted and would do what needed to be done to accomplish her goals. They say the sky is the limit, however after working alongside Ximena, I believe there are no limits for her.”
Ximena is applying for scholarships and to colleges, including Willamette and Lewis and Clark in Oregon and Hamilton College in New York. Her experience as a state officer for FBLA has opened up new opportunities and she is considering career paths besides law.
“I’ll just see where life takes me,” she said.
Press release provided from the Klamath County School District.