Making Change: TEDx Youth Returns to ASIJ

Article by Maia Macek, Writer

Reading Time: 4 minutes

On Wednesday, February 26th, the High School will host its third annual TEDx Youth at ASIJ event, which the TEDx team has been working hard on since September. An organization dedicated to sharing and teaching “ideas worth spreading,” TED has hosted conferences and events for over thirty years across the world; TEDx Youth events are independently organized in non-profit middle and high schools.

For this year’s TEDx Youth presentation at ASIJ, eight passionate and talented students will explain their various experiences and inspiring ideas. They have worked on perfecting their scripts for months to match the prestige of a TEDx Youth event.

This year’s topics are varied. The talk by Ina Aram ‘21 will explore anxiety and art, while Lisa Yamaguchi ‘21 will share a new perspective on service learning. Carina Samson ‘20 will walk the audience through positive problem solving and Misaki Inoue ‘20 will offer a new look at teaching science; both Carina and Misaki will share their experiences working with the ASIJ community.

Also at the event, Speaker Liam Kell ‘21 will discuss ways to overcome adversity, and Kyler Caldwell ‘22 will discuss the difficulty of making change; both Liam and Kyler will include how trips to the hospital were catalysts for change.

Speakers Juri Kimura ‘21 and Aimee Dosser ‘21 will focus on the notion of perspective and how we can change ours for the better; Aimee’s talk will explore climate change, while Juri will share her experience with rifling. When interviewed, Juri commented that there is only one chance to get it right and Ina added, “It’s just such a cool experience that you don’t want to mess it up.”

The TEDx team is committed to their topics and excited about the upcoming event. Ina explained, “I really like public speaking and TEDx speeches just sound cool. It’s a unique experience, and it’s cool to share your ideas at an official event.” Carina is excited to let the public know what she has been doing: “I’ve been working on my project for a few years and a lot of my friends, even my closest friends, have no idea what I’ve been doing so I felt like I got to the point where I’ve done things and I’ve learned a lot of things. I really hope that it inspires everybody.” 

Photo by TEDx Youth Team ASIJ

Carina listed all of her commitments, from college applications to organizing an MUN conference, but she still gave tremendous time to her talk. As a member of the organizing team last year, Carina commented, “I feel like the TEDx team preps us really well in terms of what we should get done by certain due dates and how we should do things, so that’s really helpful for me.”   

Although the speakers are the public stars of the show, it couldn’t happen without the TEDx organizing team under the leadership of Marine Savoure ‘21, a passionate, organized, and kind leader. Marine commented, “I wanted to make it feel like a team and not a disjointed hierarchy, so I think right from the offset doing things like admitting when I make mistakes is really important.”

Marine added that she spends a couple of hours every couple of weeks organizing and categorizing all that is to do, delegating roles to her team. She said that the process has been made much easier by responsible and eager team members: “Having a good team is so, so important […] It’s really important for me to create an atmosphere that’s uplifting and that’s collaborative where people aren’t afraid to step forward and share their ideas.” With this positive collaborative attitude in mind, the upcoming event will surely not disappoint.  

But what do the speakers have to say about TEDx being a great event to attend? Juri commented, “It’s so interesting to see another side of people like what they are working on outside of [school].” Ina added, “It’s a cool place to just learn more about people and be surprised by them.”

Seeing these TED talks is a way to see another side of someone. Not only that but Carina said that audience members will be inspired too: “I feel like this year’s talks are pretty real. [The talks] are very important not only in terms of the current climate of the world, but also how we go about talking about these issues. So I feel like people who go, no matter which talk resonates with them, they’re going to hear a talk will definitely resonate with them.”

The whole idea behind TED is getting inspired and with this year’s theme of Changemakers, these talks are designed to inspire listeners to go out and make their own change. Participant Juri commented, “Changemakers is a pretty big deal. It’s so interesting to find out how people have been doing it so far. The audience could definitely get inspired to start something new.”

If these testimonies haven’t excited you yet about attending the event, check out @tedxyouthasij, the Instagram that the TEDx marketing team has put together.