TEDxYouth@Hewitt Blog

“You’re going to fail. You have to adapt to failure. Be creative.”

TEDxYouth@Hewitt

By Samantha W.
TEDxYouth@Hewitt PR Curator and TEDxYouthDay Reporter

I was a TEDxYouthDay Reporter for TEDx. My school, The Hewitt School, hosted its own event, and I was able to help plan and report on it. Check out the @TEDxYouthHewitt Twitter feed, which I tweeted from 80 times throughout the day of the event! Here is my summary of the day, a quote from speaker Brent Comstock and a quote of mine that TEDx re-blogged:
Imagere-blog from TEDx

“You’re going to fail. You have to adapt to failure. Be creative.” Such were the wise words of college student Brent Comstock, one of the many inspirational speakers at the 4th annual TEDxYouth@Hewitt event this weekend. Following the international theme of “What’s your spark?” we decided to break the speakers up into four different sections: Spark, Ignite and Flame. There are so many steps to making something happen. There’s the spark (the idea), ignite (the action you take to carry out your ideas) and flame (how you share it with other people). Our speakers shared how their sparks have grown from their own minds into companies, passions, careers and personal achievements and how their success has influenced and motivated the people around them.

Fashion blogger and Hewitt alumnae Sydney Sadick opened up the day with a speech about the summer program that inspired her to start a blog and how she overcame criticism, taking inspiration from her mother and focusing on finding herself through her passion. Two more Hewitt alumnae, Sofia Stafford ’13 and Alexandra Wexler ’06, also took the stage. Sofia Stafford is particularly inspired by Women’s Rights, and she told us about her work with Girl Up. Alexandra Wexler, a writer for The Wall Street Journal, shared the importance of storytelling and how it gives her the opportunity to give voices to people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.

For some people, finding that spark requires a way to express yourself. Poets Malcolm Wicks and Darren Arthur performed poems with both breathtaking and funny lines that moved the audience. James Parris, a visual effects artist, talked about how he gained his inspiration from watching cartoons as a child and expressing himself through his own sketches.

To spark an idea you have to dream big. Austin Diamond, a young entrepreneur, made clear that we shouldn’t be afraid to go after our dreams. “If you’re doing what you’re really passionate about, then you can never really be wrong,” he said. Actor/Producer Jon Lee Brody offered an important look at success, explaining that it’s a lot more jumbled and twisted than we think.

Kindness can take you far. Relationships and communications expert Rachel DeAlto and Human Rights Advocate Jessica Greer Morris both presented on the power of kindness. “Lift someone up,” said Rachel DeAlto, “send them a text, a tweet or a message – let them know how awesome they are.”

Perhaps one of my favorite talks of the day was Justin LeBlanc, a Project Runway contestant whose collection was shown at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City and televised across the nation. Justin was born deaf, and he recalled the times as a child when he would bang on pots and pans, hoping to gain inspiration from a little bit of sound he might hear. Having the opportunity to speak with Justin before his speech, I can truly say that he is a very genuine and down-to-earth person with a great sense of humor. His lovely personality came through in his talk, where he gave the audience wise advice:  “The bigger you think the greater you will become.”

To sum up the event in a few words? As Justin LeBlanc said, “Inspiration is not something I can give you. It is already in you…you just have to find your spark.”

Go ignite the spark within you.

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TEDxYouth@Hewitt: A Global Conversation

TEDxYouth@Hewitt: A Global Conversation

By Stephanie Dore
TEDxYouth@Hewitt Faculty Advisor

Thank you so much for your support of the 4th annual TEDxYouth@Hewitt event this past Saturday, November 16th!  In planning TEDxYouth@Hewitt, the student curators (Grayson B., Paloma S., Alex B.W., Caroline H., Sammie W., Harley S., Adrien L.) and I threw around the phrase “a global conversation” a lot.  We used it to encourage you to attend, we used it to convince speakers to talk, and we used it just because it sounded cool.

However, I’m not sure it really felt tangible to any of us.  It was just something we said.  Now, 3 days after TEDxYouth@Hewitt, we’re beginning to realize that we really WERE part of a global conversation.

So how do we know?

  • TEDxYouth@Hewitt and speaker and Hewitt School alumna, Sofia Stafford, are the FIRST TEDxYouth event featured as a highlight by TEDx.   There were over 100 TEDxYouthDay events last weekend, in 36 countries, and of all of those events, TEDxYouth@Hewitt is the first event highlighted by TEDx.  Of the event, TEDx says, “At TEDxYouth@Hewitt, an impressive college freshman, Sofia Stafford, explained that 66 million girls are out of school now and 14 million girls under 18 will marry this year. She told the crowd, “It’s up to our generation to act–and to act now.” TEDxYouth 2013 Highlights | TEDxYouthDay
  • People watched and reported on TEDxYouth@Hewitt from all over the world! For example, Vajresh Balaji, the licensee for TEDxKidsRSPuram and a TEDxYouthDay reporter, tuned in from Coimbatore, India.  Check out this list of quotes he put together from our event.

Seems like the conversation is just starting!

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TEDxYouth@Hewitt Press Release




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1 Week Away!

1 Week Away!

By Paloma S.

After months of planning, I can’t believe TEDxYouth@Hewitt is 1 week away! The curatorial team has been hard at work, from making goodie bags to planning speeches, and coordinating mics and lights, we are putting the final details together to ensure that the day will run smoothly.

At our dress rehearsal yesterday, Rachel DeAlto, Austin Diamond, Sophie Beem, and Austin Mitchell practiced their speeches. Whether it’s Austin Diamond’s Legos or Rachel DeAlto’s kindness that kindled their fire, we’re sure that these speakers are going to inspire you to join the search for your spark! The curatorial team was definitely inspired! We cannot wait to hear the other remarkable speakers, on Saturday, November 16th.

Hewitt’s very own tech team, Susannah M., Jamie R., Skye M., and Teresa M., were hustling to fix the lights and the sound to make sure that speakers were audible and seen at their best on stage. We even pulled out TED’s red dot (aka our red carpet for speakers!); we are all set to go!

Join us on Saturday, Novmber 16th from 10am- 3 pm!

Register at http://www.tedxyouthathewitt.org/register/

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Austin Mitchell answers, Why host TEDxYouth@Hewitt?

Why Host TEDxYouth@Hewitt

By Austin Mitchell

First of all, this thing is going to be fun, and I think having fun is pretty important. Any disagreements? No? Great. Moving on.

I remember high school. It can be tough. Pressure comes from all directions and it may feel like your opportunities are balancing tenuously on your ability to not make mistakes. You may have the idea that there is a normal path you should follow – a certain safe way to proceed – that will lead to a life of happiness and achievement. Which would be all shiny and nice, if only it were true.

Each of these TEDx speakers has followed their own path. They’ve allowed their own unique instincts to guide their actions, and they’ve embraced risk as an necessary component of greatness. Will you leave this event with a blueprint for your next steps in life? Probably not, and that’s precisely the point. More likely you’ll simply feel a greater sense of confidence in the fact that we each possess a particular genius, and that we merely need to be open enough to allow a spark of inspiration to illuminate the passion in which this genius lies.

So to quickly summarize. This thing is going to be awesome. And inspirational. And fun. And we’re all geniuses. I expect nothing less than some awesomely inspirational genius-like fun.

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Jon Lee Brody Answers “Why Speak at TEDxYouth@Hewitt?”

Why Speak at TEDxYouth@Hewitt?

By Jon Lee Brody

I was born and raised in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. Chicago is a town known for its ‘blue collar’ and hardworking mentality. Growing up, I was the awkward and unathletic kid in class. Peoples’ favorite word to use towards me was ‘can’t.’  It seemed that anyone else in school was bound by nothing but when it came to me classmates and even teachers shot me down when I had an idea or goal. Instead of letting that define me, I adopted that very same Chicago blue collar mentality and worked harder than ever to achieve any of my goals. That mentality is what carried me to success in athletics, academics and in my current job as an actor/filmmaker. It’s that very spark that started in elementary school that keeps myself and others around me motivated. Henry Ford once said, ‘Whether you think you can or you can’t..you’re right!”. The power and the spark is within YOU! Nothing is impossible! There are many moments in life that give you that spark. And I’m thrilled at the chance to provide you all with one at TEDxYouth@Hewitt!

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