Colorado Springs, CO
This month’s Alumni Spotlight features Taryn Enos, who competed out of Colorado with Resolve from 2010 to 2016. She competed at NITOC in eleven different events during her competition years, including all three styles of debate. She now works full-time as a Relations Specialist with Compassion International, a child sponsorship and Christian humanitarian aid organization headquartered in Colorado Springs.
Taryn expressed deep gratitude to her parents for homeschooling all eight of their children, saying, “I personally believe I never would have finished high school if they did not homeschool us.” She described how it was because of her siblings that she got involved in Stoa. By the time her eldest brother was 14, her parents knew he was a debater and the family joined their local club.
Taryn saw speech and debate as a huge part of her life and had stories from throughout her six years of competition. Her misadventures included cleaning up broken glass from an ill-fated expository prop to uncontrollable laughing outside of a competition room for ten minutes straight.
It was her interps, namely Dramatic and Humorous, that she remembers most fondly. She did a DI every year she competed, and the one year she also did HI she made it to finals. Both events made a huge impact on her ability to express herself. “Growing up, I had a hard time learning to express emotion in front of people or on my own. I remember that Humorous and Dramatic Interps were the first time that me expressing emotion was accepted by my peers. In a way, those events helped me learn how to express emotion in a safe way through a creative hobby.”
Passing down her knowledge to others has remained dear to her. On top of being a full-time Relations Specialist with Compassion International, Taryn also runs her own teaching platform through Outschool.com where she teaches speaking and social skills to young children.
She was drawn to Compassion International because of the impact it has: “I believe in doing what works. The reason I chose to work with Compassion was because they impact children all over the world in an ethical and tangible way. Personally, I do not care what I do for work as long as I can reach the type of impact and life that I am looking for.”
Taryn credits Stoa with many of the skills that brought her to where she is today. “The reason every person in my department was hired is for our skills with people. Our ability to speak and relate gives Compassion the ability to have a totally unscripted format for every medium they communicate through. My speech experience was actually something that I have been asked about in every interview and that speaks volumes.”
Her love for passing on the gifts we have been given penetrated Taryn’s outlook. She wants to see alumni step up to mentor and teach the next generation. “If you have never experienced beginning the year with a student and watching them grow and gain confidence, then you are missing out”, she explained. “People grow and change exponentially over a year. There is nothing better than watching the process of learning that accompanies any student learning something new. You have value to add to this amazing community!”