We recently announced that an annual scholarship to our Excellence In Speaking Institute will be awarded to an individual in honor of our former CEO, Anne Boyd Moore. We loved reading the stories that were submitted and are pleased to introduce our 5 finalists!

Please read through each one below and cast your vote for who you feel should be the recipient of the scholarship.

[Note: Finalists are in no particular order]



Finalist #1: Charryse Johnson

Charryse Johnson, Jade Integrative Counseling and Wellness

“As a little girl, my mother had a desire to teach us how to speak well. As a single parent and mother of four, she instilled in us a passion for being able to communicate without fear and through difficult moments. In 2001, hours after having my son, she lost a long battle with cancer. From that time and beyond I have worked to continue her legacy. One of her greatest desires has been for us to use our voice, not only to educate, but to advocate for those who have no voice or who may feel their voice is not worth being heard . I believe this training experience will help me to grow and develop in a way that I could not otherwise afford. As a mental health therapist I have the privilege of speaking one on one and walking with people through their pain. My hope is to continue to hone my passion in this area and use it to break down barriers and strengthen our community in a greater way.”


Finalist #2: Jordan Olshefski 

Jordan Olshefski, Cross Park Church

“If there’s one thing the world is in short supply of, it’s love. Both as a concept and an expression towards others, love can literally change lives. I am a pastor who wants to communicate the love of God to others: to my wife and four kids, to my neighbors, and to the city of Charlotte. But to do that effectively, I know that I need to grow in my ability to communicate. I want to speak with greater clarity, vulnerability, and authenticity. This scholarship would enable me to grow in my ability to communicate and share with others what they most deeply need: the love of God.”


Finalist #3: Alec Carloss

Alec Carloss, Cascade Kiteboarding

“Public speaking was never a strength of mine, although I have come a long way since high school. Back in the early days (particularly during high school) I would rather have jumped in a pool with a great white wielding nothing more than a pocket knife than stand paralyzed in front of a group of fellow high schoolers and attempt to make sounds from my mouth that would have some resemblance to words. The odds were far better with the shark. Or, I suppose, the death would have proved easier. That fear has faded some over the years and my skills in communication have improved to the level of what may be considered normal on the grand spectrum. Yet, I still lack the tools used in speech to truly communicate effectively in a professional context. Also, I am aware of possessing an abundance of speaking fillers and crutches that do more harm than good as I limp along attempting to convey ideas or be persuasive while talking among a group of non familiars. Confidence in what I may be saying is also an obstacle as I still have a ridiculous fear of being heard and seen then judged; in the spotlight and under scrutiny.
Mastering the skill of effective communication would illuminate the world for me in terms of new possibilities as the barriers previously holding me contained in fearful darkness would be expunged. I need to have the skills necessary to persuade in a business context as I plan to run multiple business operations during the course of my life. Timidity is the antihero in the story of business. Just a general sense of confidence while communicating with anyone will improve my overall wellbeing.”


Finalist #4: Dacquin Curry

Dacquin Curry, Reach 4 Wellness

“I believe I would be a great candidate for the Anne Boyd Moore scholarship because I have an unshakeable desire for growth as a professional massage and bodywork practitioner and beginning health coach. I have a passion to see individuals thrive and succeed uniquely, and I know that polishing my ability to deliver straight to the heart of the individual’s needs can push them closer to their full potential. I’ve always been a talkative, yet to-the-point, kind of girl; talking too much in class, talking my way out of trouble, etc. But I grew somewhat quieter as I experienced personal attacks as an overweight woman of color. It may sound demeaning, and…it was. My confidence was slightly shaken but my love for myself overruled the ridicule. I began to encourage and remind me of who I am…and who I am NOT. That’s my goal in life; to encourage those who’ve felt downtrodden, forgotten, neglected, deduced, because of the negative, impenetrable opinion of others who are actually hurting and crying out for that same boost of love and vote of confidence. So I thank you in advance for your vote of confidence in me, as I propel forward, not just as a professional, but as a person who has so much to share in a way that draws individuals closer to their goals.”


Finalist #5: Nate Ledbetter

Nate Ledbetter, Warehouse 242

“The challenge for me is feeling frozen prior to speaking, especially in unfamiliar or spontaneous settings. I’m eager to listen to and cultivate the interior of my life to become fully myself, freely without fear, inviting diverse audiences of all different stripes to move toward beloved community – to become ourselves, together. Learning from the team at Ty Boyd would be an honor as I feel compelled to speak about issues of justice to politically divided, inter-faith audiences in the years ahead. The following story is one example of how I’m learning to embody a faith that honors the dignity of all people”. (click here to read)






Cast Your Vote! 

What happens next?

It’s up to YOU to vote for the finalist you feel is most deserving, as having given the best answer to the question “Why would you be a good candidate for this scholarship?”

Simply fill out the short form below to vote for your top pick! Feel free to share this link (www.tyboyd.com/finalists) with friends and family. Please do not vote more than once per day.

*The winner will be announced Friday, December 13th.