TEDxYouth. Courtesy photo.

On Oct. 18, two high school students took to the main stage at TEDxSanAntonio to speak about the rise of hacker culture. A senior at Saint Mary’s Hall High School, Abhinav Suri is a Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy Scholar and is currently doing research on traumatic brain injury. Joshua Singer is a senior at the International School of the Americas. He is also a Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy Scholar in addition to ranking first in his class and helping organize SoHacks, the School’s Out Hackathon.

Clearly age isn’t a defining factor when it comes to success, wisdom, or impact on one’s community. As part of the initiative to encourage growth within TEDxSA, the organization is reaching out to the young people wanting to make a difference in our community. Saturday marks a special first event for the newly-declared nonprofit: TEDxYouth@SanAntonio.

“San Antonio’s youth have always shown interest in volunteering, attending and speaking at TEDxSA events. We know San Antonio has plenty of youth talent and ideas to support a Youth program and community,” said TEDxSA organizer and TEDx Licensee Susan Price about cultivating the next generation of thinkers with excitement.

“We were just awarded our official nonprofit 501(c)3 status from the IRS – so I’m particularly pleased with the development of a youth community – vital to the TEDxSA organization’s continued vibrancy,” she said.

TEDxSA has been granted a license to live stream the upcoming TEDYouth conference on Nov. 15 at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City this year. The live stream will be held from 3-6 p.m. at SAY Sí, 1518 S. Alamo St. The event is free to students with a current ID. Of the 120 available spots, there will be room for a few interested adults who are asked to contribute $10 toward the cost of the event.

The theme for TEDYouth 2014, “Worlds Imagined,” was chosen with intent for its speakers to focus on new scenarios for our future with thought on how they can contribute to its creation.

Attendees and student organizers of the TEDxSA event will lead two breakout sessions to watch and discuss recorded TEDYouth talks.

TEDYouth 2014 speakers to get excited about:

Lilian Chen – Chen spent three years playing Super Smash Brothers Melee in national tournaments. She now speaks out about life in the Smash community – how it helped her find her voice, and how she used that voice to combat sexism.

Gil Weinberg – Weinberg is a music technologist, which means he rocks out with robot musicians, helps non-musical humans make music with mobile apps, and gets humans and robots alike to express themselves.

Ruddy Roye – Roye is a photojournalist and dedicated Instagram activist. He takes to the Brooklyn streets with his phone camera, capturing overlooked stories of race and class through searing, personal portraits.

Tahir Hemphill – Hemphill is the creator of the Hip Hop Word Count, a searchable rap lyrics database that allows deep analysis of national and global cultural trends. He’s part of the Rap Research Lab, teaching students art, design and critical thinking through visualizing and analyzing hip-hop.

Mark Siddall – Siddall is a zoologist with a deep appreciation for the time-tested survival strategy of parasitism. In his Leech Lab at the American Museum of Natural History, he explores blood-feeders like the infamous anal-dwelling hippo leech.

SAY Sí and San Antonio Youth Commission (SAYC), composed of city-council appointed high-school leaders from across San Antonio, are showing promising community support as youth-focused nonprofits. As cosponsors of the event, both are providing student organizers.

“SAYC is committed to giving an outlet to students to share their voice in a powerful way through city-wide events, advocacy, and social media,” said SAYC Liaison Adam Tutor.  “They  have taken this responsibility to serve our city with humility and are eager to engage their peers from around San Antonio and the world at this great event.”

As TED Talks are becoming increasingly present in the classroom as tools for not only education, but higher thought. Parents are encouraged to register their youngsters to expand their knowledge and perception of the world around them.

To register, click here.

*Featured/top image: TEDxYouth. Courtesy photo.

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Melanie Robinson

Melanie Robinson is a San Antonian writer, poet and musician who currently works as the content writer for Tribu, a digital marketing firm, and freelances for the Rivard Report, San Antonio Current and...