Thursday, November 17, 2011

Be inspired: Westlake High hosts TEDxYouth conference


By Dashiell Young-Saver 

What do a slam poet, a chemist, a taekwondo black belt and a high school history teacher have in common?
Along with 12 other speakers, the four will attempt to inspire locals at the inaugural TEDxYouth@Conejo on Sun., Nov. 20 in the Carpenter Family Theater at Westlake High School.
The event was created as a youth-specific extension of TEDx@Conejo, a local, independently organized TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) event established in March 2010. TED is a nonprofit organization that began in 1984 as a semiannual conference with the goal of spreading ideas to promote positive change in the world.
“We started (TEDxYouth@ Conejo) to showcase the incredible power, intelligence and inspiration of the student speakers in the area,” said supervising organizer Don Levy.

Levy helped coordinate the first Conejo Valley TEDx events. Impressed by the effective young speakers in the community, Levy contacted some of the young speakers of the previous year’s event to become organizers of the TEDxYouth@Conejo event.
“We developed a program that is by and for the youth of our community,” Levy said.
The 13 youth speakers were chosen by the event’s youth organizers through short auditions. Ranging in age from 14 to 19, they are speaking on topics ranging from the experiences of a 19-year-old CEO to education reform, newspaper censorship, meditation, and charity through taekwondo.
“The people speaking in our event have made an impact on the community,” said youth organizer and Agoura High School senior Jordan Palmer. “They really show and hopefully inspire others to believe that it’s never too early to make a difference.”
One rousing speaker will be Westlake High School senior Alper Vural, who hopes to inspire his peers to achieve by talking about his triumph over anemia to become a successful track and cross country athlete.
“I’m going talk about (my experiences with iron deficiency) to show people that it’s OK to be in difficult situations . . . because you will gain the mental toughness to get through life,” Alper said.
All the speeches portray different aspects of the event’s “We Have a Voice” theme.
“We are the future and the world is being handed down to us,” Jordan said. “We need to let our voice be heard and let the world know that the youth matter.”
The event will reach out not only to the community, but also to the world through technology. A live webcast will feature speakers during the event, and YouTube videos of speeches will be posted at its conclusion.
“What TED is designed to do is to inspire a conversation and ripple effect during and after the event,” said youth organizer and Westlake High School senior Jonathan Yan. “The main focus is on the 30-minute intermission during the conference, the chats in the theater an hour afterwards, and the YouTube videos on social networking sites months later where people can discuss the speeches.”
The three adult speakers will contribute to the “We Have a Voice” youth theme. Dr. Adam Stieg will talk about his research in the design of nano and pico-scale systems and their applications to the future of biology and medicine. Cinematographer Jaron Presant will speak about his voice expressed through cinematography. And Agoura High School teacher Gerald Pickett will speak about why the youth’s voice matters.
More than 100 similar TEDxYouth events will be hosted in nearly 50 countries on and around Universal Children’s Day, Nov. 20.
To get a free ticket, make donations or find out more about the event, visit the TEDxYouth@ Conejo website at http://


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.