Peter Quantz – Stoa Alumni

I have learned a lot from debating in Stoa. It gave me insight into how to convince and speak to an audience. However, most of my communication occurs in casual interactions with family, friends, and other people I meet, rather than from behind a lectern.

My day-to-day interpersonal communications affect more than just my ballots – they impact my career and my relationships. Thankfully, Foundations of Communication (FOC) has helped me develop a lifestyle that helps me navigate life’s unexpected challenges. It has taught me to be more aware of what and how I communicate in ordinary conversations, where small choices affect people’s perception of me. I have learned to be more conscious of others while maintaining proper self-respect and assertiveness. It has been a life-changing experience for me.

In a recent FOCus Team challenge, I faced a fear by purposely embracing an embarrassing situation. I came out on the other side of the experience feeling genuinely changed and truly free.

In one of the online classes, I learned how to listen to others in an active way that communicates I care about them and what they have to say. After just a few weeks of focusing on listening, often speaking little about myself, I made many new friends and deepened existing relationships.

As Mrs. Heggem, one of the founders of FOC, often tells her students, “If you want others to be interested in you, be interested in others.” I feel more confident than ever in my ability to talk to strangers and make friends wherever I go. With better interpersonal communication skills, I feel like I can take on whatever comes my way in the future.



LW – Stoa Competitor

If I were to look back 20 years from now and consider which academic course I gained the most value from, I would choose Foundations of Communication (FOC). In our generation, technology has consumed our lives. Many of the most important life skills and communication skills have been neglected. Skills which are timeless and universal. 

FOC has taught me essential skills such as: how to be a good listener, how to end conversations gracefully, how to be empathetic, and so much more! That is why I am so thankful for FOC. Even though I am already a part of Stoa, FOC has enhanced and honed my general communication skills in a much broader and deeper way. Not only has it helped me to communicate better in formal settings, but also in everyday situations and relationships. Whether I am at home, in public, with friends, or family; I know these are skills I’ll be using for the rest of my life. Did I mention it’s fun too?! 

FOC is not just for Stoa members. It’s for everyone! It’s for every age. Our family has enjoyed learning, discussing, and practicing many of the skills together. FOC feels like a big family. It’s a wonderful community of fellow families all learning and growing together. We’d love to have you come join the family. Let’s bring these vital skills back to life again!


Your first step is connecting with a local Stoa club. We can help.

Click Here To Connect