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The Orator Mendoza senior learns public speaking is part mechanics, part connection
Paul Moya, Mendoza College undergrad student, became the voice for the hungry and the homeless as the national Future Farmers of America president.

Paul Moya’s dream was seeded at 9 years old as he stood in the
shadows of an auditorium in New Mexico, transfixed by a speaker.

Young Moya had tagged along with his father, Joseph, an adviser for the National FFA Organization, also known as the Future Farmers of America. His father often took students—and his son—to state FFA conventions.

This particular event was different—larger, more electric. The national FFA president was giving the keynote. The room was so full that Moya and his father were as far back in the auditorium as one could go. There were no seats remaining, only a small platform that the sound crew also occupied. Yet, even in the depths of the room, Moya found himself drawn to the young leader and her words. As she encouraged members to find their passion in life, the boy came upon his—public speaking.

Public speaking, that near-universal anxiety-raising specter. But to Moya, it represented the art and craft of connection, person to person, even in a room filled with thousands. He could be a point of inspiration.

And so he set off to become The Orator.

Early on, Moya tried his hand at high school state speech contests—coming in fifth the first year. Not bad, but he’s very competitive by nature. He’d set his sights on being the champion, so “not bad” wasn’t good enough.

While God gave him a head start with natural-born magnetism and confidence, Moya was learning he needed to grow his public speaking skills and authenticity.


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