According to its website, Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) is a “nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks.” TED hosts conferences that cover a variety of topics, and its TEDx Program has united high school students who are planning a TEDx event in Cerritos, California.
On May 22, 2014, Whitney High School students Raji Ganapathy, Michelle Whang, and Frances Lee brought TEDx to their school for the first time.
Lee, a junior, told JSR, “We wanted to give high school students the opportunity to voice their opinions and their stories that had the potential to impact our community.”
The event was named TEDxWhitneyHigh and was extremely successful as students were able to share their ideas. Last year’s theme was self-expression, and now TEDxWhitneyHigh is back for its second year with a new theme: money. Auditions for potential speakers were held in the beginning of February and students now await the results.
Kennard Kim, a senior at Cerritos High School, recently auditioned for TEDxWhitneyHigh and told JSR, “I spoke about how money should be seen as a root of all need, rather than evil or happiness. I picked this topic because my parents taught me this philosophy and it helped me save and a live a better life.”
He hopes to help his community with his speech, “If society can pick up on this idea, we will be able to secure our capital and control our wants, without spending money.”
TEDxWhitneyHigh 2015 is predicted to be as successful or more than last year’s conference, of which numerous students spoke positively.
“TEDx has become such an important part of my life because it advocates the discussion of ‘ideas worth spending,’ an ideal that I have stuck to. It is stressful, but it foments growth as a person,” said Lee. “This year, I look forward to the variety of talks that our speakers will bring about our theme and the continual dissemination of these profound ideas mainly from high school students in our community.”
Stephanie Qian, a junior at Whitney and a speaker at last year’s TEDxWhitneyHigh, told JSR, “I talked about gender-based stereotypes and feminism. It really helped open my eyes about gender inequality.”
Regarding the effect TEDxWhitneyHigh had on her life, she continued, “I feel like I have a stronger connection to the topic of feminism, or equality of sexes, and it geared me towards looking at the world from different lenses more often. It was a cool experience because I got to listen to a lot of other really good speeches and further my goal of improving public speaking.”
“I really liked Shannon Chou’s speech about racism and racial equality,” stated Qian. “She brought up really interesting points that were relatable but at the same time eye-opening.”
TEDxWhitneyHigh has supported innovative thinkers among the city of Cerritos’ high school population. Come listen to the speakers at Whitney High School on April 30!
For now, you can view this YouTube playlist of last year’s TEDxWhitneyHigh:
About TEDx: x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.
The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast event in nearby Whistler. The annual TEDGlobal conference will be held this October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.