A record number of Ann Arbor high schoolers and middle schoolers auditioned to take the stage for the sixth annual TEDxYouth@AnnArbor event, set for April 13 at Skyline High School.
Created and organized by Ann Arbor high school students, event attendees will have the opportunity to hear short talks on a wide variety of subjects, such as improving the education system, sexism, racism, artificial intelligence, and global citizenship.
Eugene Lee, the event’s youth curator (and an Ann Arbor Public Schools student), promises a one-of-a-kind experience.
"TEDxYouth is an incredible program, because it is one of the only platforms in our community that both acknowledges and showcases youth voice," Lee says.
He adds, "as the younger generation, our voices are often pushed aside and deemed as unimportant or immature."
Lee and his 30-plus fellow student organizers have been using the event as a tool to chip away at that prejudice for years.
They started out as a small part of Skyline High School’s Student Activism Senate. Today they have evolved to an independent organization that has branched out to all Ann Arbor high schools.
From the get-go, getting more people of all ages involved and connected with the event has been an important goal for organizers.
"We hope that this (event) will create a spark of dialogue and empathy in our community," says Lee.
TEDxYouth@AnnArbor takes place on Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m at Skyline High School Auditorium, 2552 N. Maple Rd. in Ann Arbor. For more information and to purchase tickets visit tedxya2.org.
Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently in based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of TEDxYouth@AnnArbor marketing committee.