Lancaster County’s next TED event will have talks about topics like manipulating computers with your mind, embracing pain and dealing with the stigma of mental health.
Some of these speakers aren’t old enough to drive.
The speakers at Lancaster's sixth TED event are 21 and younger. TEDxYouth@Lancaster will be held Sunday, June 30 at the Ware Center. It’s part of TED, the nonprofit that brings people together to share "Ideas Worth Spreading.” The topics range widely but they’re all limited to 18 minutes.
Lancaster hosted its first youth-focused TED in 2017 and Bob Vasile, executive director of the Lancaster TED events, was impressed by the applications.
“I was absolutely astounded by the caliber of speakers that we had,” he says.
Teens and college students can apply for the traditional TEDxLancaster events but Vasile wanted to devote an entire event for the youngest speakers. Organizers plan to rotate the youth event every other year with the traditional TEDxLancaster in the future.
Nearly 80 people submitted their ideas on the topic "Rising Above."
Here’s more about the event’s 10 speakers selected:
Janyssa Berrios, a 2019 graduate of McCaskey High School, will give a talk: “Success in Five Senses: How Comparing Leads to Your Downfall and Progression.” In her talk, Berrios explains her successes and failures were the results of intentional actions. By holding ourselves accountable and having a defined plan, we can overcome adversity and become stronger.
Evan Davidson, a Millersville University student, will give a talk: “Staying Persistent in the Face of Adversity.” In his talk, Davidson shares that comparing yourself to others is a good thing, if it’s done the right way. From being a student, to becoming a photographer, to starting his own business at age 16, Davidson takes “Why I can’t” and turns it into “Why can’t I?” He has a story of grit and perseverance and credits getting to the next level by comparing himself to others.
Olivia Eichler, a Penn Manor student, will give a talk: “Adapting to Adoption.” Olivia will talk about how she is judged because she is adopted and how she deals with stereotypes. She talks about what’s truly defining and gives ways to help discover yourself.
Bekah Gerace, a Manheim Township graduate, will give a talk: “Removing the Stigma Around Mental Health.” Gerace has experienced cancer and mental illness. Her talk will focus on the distinct difference in the ways others treated her regarding her mental illness compared to her physical illness.
Raif Groves, a Solanco Middle School student, will give a talk: “Learning from History.” Groves uses history as a form of personal-development. In his talk, he shares examples from history and explains the lessons we can learn.
Valerie Kosson, a Lebanon Valley College student, will give a talk: “Invisible Disabilities: Seeing Others with Compassion.” Kosson is an accomplished musician who has invisible disabilities as a result of being a preemie baby. She’ll explain what what she has to do on a daily basis to function.
Hannah Logue, an Ephrata High School student, will give a talk: “Not Sharing Means Caring.” Logue’s talk explains how the usual way of vetting news stories no longer applies. She’ll share a new way to authenticate a story and help stop the proliferation of fake news.
Madison Lucey, a student at Commonwealth Charter Academy, will give a talk: “How to Truly Solve a Problem.” Lucey has invented a safety feature that would prevent children from being left in hot cars. Her talk gives advice on how to solve a problem and may redefine what we think is a solution.
Gaurav Mittal, a student at Manheim Township High School, will give a talk: “Bioelectric Potential Telemetry: Detection, Measurement and Application.” Mittal will explain his research on brain-computer interface and describes how this technology can transform lives.
Hannah Wheeler, a Solanco High School graduate, will give a talk: “Embracing Pain.” Wheeler has debilitating pain from amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome. Her talk explains the lessons we can learn by accepting and embracing pain.
While this is the second time Lancaster County has had a TEDxYouth event, it’s the first time a teen has been chosen as emcee. Ainsley Elkner, a Donegal High School student, is also part of the curation committee, which helps select speakers and edit scripts.
The 2018 talks and more from Lancaster's events can be found online.