TEDxYouth set to take place at Cape High


Melanie Pena

Laplante and Mukwende will be empowering students by speaking at TEDxYouth at Cape High.

Technology. Entertainment. Design. For years, TED has been synonymous with bleeding-edge thinking and innovative technology, with millions around the world tuning in to watch and be inspired by presentations (or “TED Talks”) by passionate individuals at the forefront of their respective fields. And soon, this worldwide phenomenon is coming right here to Cape Coral High School. 

On October 24th, Cape High will be playing host to a unique student-led TED experience meant to showcase the innovation and passion of the next generation of thinkers. With an emphasis on inspiring today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders, TEDx Youth at CCHS will include both local and international speakers discussing everything from medical advancements to student activism. 

TEDx Youth at CCHS is the brainchild of Sarah Jiang, a senior in the IB program, who saw the event as an opportunity to showcase the growing role of youth in shaping the global environment. “Youth are often associated with a lazy or uninvolved stereotype, and that is very far from the truth,” she said. “We wanted to use this TEDx event to shine light on all the amazing things that youth around the world are up to.”

For senior Jaden Bradish, who worked alongside Jiang since March to plan and coordinate the event, the 24th event represents the months of work and effort finally coming to fruition. “After we were approved for the licensing, we had to go to the school to make sure it was ok that we use the name, and Mr. (Christian) Engleheart was completely behind it. Everyone’s been really behind us in the process,” he said. “From there, we have been reaching out to potential speakers and partnering up with some nonprofits. Really the next big thing is just getting our event out there, because it’s happening soon.”

Because of the pandemic, TEDx Youth at CCHS is formatted differently than a classic TEDx event. Normally, speakers onstage give their presentations  to a live audience, while videos of the various “TED Talks” are posted on the TED website. For their event, however, the students cut out the onstage portion entirely. “All of our speakers submit a video of their speech, and after we receive their submissions we will splice them together into one conclusive program. This program will be live streamed on October 24 on our TEDc Youth at CCHS YouTube page, and then after will be published onto the official TEDx YouTube page and their website,” Jiang said. 

Karina Lewin, the third member of the trifecta responsible for bringing this idea to life, believes that the most valuable part of this experience is that students will be exposed to a diverse set of voices from all around the world, people they may never have even heard of otherwise. “My favorite part was probably just being able to contact international speakers and even people in America about their interesting topics. I think it’s interesting to see what people have been doing over quarantine and how they are bettering themselves,” she said. 

Jiang ultimately believes that Tedx Youth at CCHS  will be like nothing the school has ever seen before, and will be something that will impact young thinkers both at CCHS and beyond. “If you look at the logo of our theme, the word “Inspire” is drawn with a lightbulb. So really, we want our audience to leave the TEDx event with, you know, a spark, and idea, like a lightbulb turning on,” she said.