At TEDxYouth@Hewitt 2014 speakers and performers will follow the theme “Worlds Imagined.” Keep checking back as we build our slate of speakers and performers.
Eva Shang is an 18-year-old sophomore at Harvard University and Harvard Campus Editor-at-Large at the Huffington Post. Originally from Philadelphia, she is a social activist who is passionate about criminal justice and education. She is the founder of the Student Prison Alliance, a national network for students working in prison education and reform.
Eva has been recognized in Dell’s inaugural “12 under 22” and by Philadelphia City Council as a “Rising Star” of the Next Generation of Women’s Leadership. She currently serves on several boards, including State Farm, Dell, and American Association of University Women, and has spoken at TEDx events and conferences around the country. Her writing has been featured in the Boston Globe, USA Today, xoJane, and the Harvard Crimson.
Eva and her sister Melissa launched a viral petition for a disabled American Girl doll that was featured in Cosmopolitan, USA Today, CBS, HLN, IB Times, and other major news outlets. The two sisters are currently working on launching a web platform for teens and preteens with disabilities.
Follow her on Twitter at @eva_shang.
Melissa Shang is an 11-year-old who goes to Tredyffrin Easttown Middle School. Born with a form of muscular dystrophy called Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Melissa is a disability advocate and an American Girl fan. With the help of her sister Eva, Melissa launched a viral petition of a disabled American Girl doll that was featured in Cosmopolitan, USA Today, CBS, HLN, IB Times, and other major news outlets and raised massive public attention to disability representation in children’s toys. Currently, Melissa is working on launching a web platform for teens and preteens with disabilities.
Melissa loves to sing, read, and hopes to one day be a singer or a music teacher. Her favorite song is “Let it Go,” from the Disney soundtrack of Frozen.
Follow her on Twitter @shang_melissa.
Matthew Wilkins (speaker)
Matthew Wilkins is a co-founder of Pedal Forward, an organization providing sustainable solutions to poverty and transportation issues through the manufacturing, sale, and use of bamboo bicycles. Matt received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from The George Washington University in 2012 and completed his M.S. in 2014, also in Biomedical Engineering, while working as The Dean’s Fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at GW. He comes from a family of cyclists whose idea of a vacation typically involves enjoying the road on two wheels. In addition to his work with Pedal Forward, Matt has worked on the Program Team for the Clinton Global Initiative, where he helped identify speakers and generate content for the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. He also worked as the Transportation Commitment Mentor for The Clinton Global Initiative University where he was responsible for the development of all transportation related commitments. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of The Nyota Fund, a non-profit scholarship fund that provides full academic scholarships to secondary school students who exhibit both high academic potential and strong financial need in Tanzania’s Ngara District. While his education is in engineering, Matt has a passion for international development and public health, and designed and currently teaches a course at GW which bridges the gap between all three.
Melissa Kathryn is a Body Image Expert, helping women and girls of all ages around the world to fall in-love with themselves and their bodies through healthy living and positive thinking. She created a unique method that combines nutrition, fitness, mindset, and styling so we achieve lasting change, overcome limiting beliefs, and thrive in our lives in bodies we love.