TEDxYouth resumes

TEDxYouth program continues after last year’s event was postponed


Ben Adamson ’20 practices his TEDX speech in 2019. Photo Courtesy of Cassidy Goldman ’21

Last year’s TedxYouth event was cancelled due to the pandemic and was postponed to this year. Last year’s speakers are returning with an addition of a few new speakers.

“We have most speakers from last year doing it this year, besides those who graduated, and we are currently interviewing a few more to fill up the line,” said Brady Gunnink, one of the club’s teacher sponsors. 

TEDxYouth is an event that mirrors TED talks but is primarily for students. Gunnink said the theme is Memos to/from the next generation. This was the same theme as last year. 

“It is a platform for youth voices and ideas. Jones students come from pretty unique and special backgrounds and have impressive ideas. We are trying to give them a platform to share their experiences.” Gunnink said.

Student organizers in the club and the teacher sponsors have been working together to develop a plan for an online event.

“Nothing is set in stone,” said student organizer Cassidy Goldman ‘21. “We are talking about different options but the event will probably be pre-recorded and played on  Zoom this year.”

Though the returning speakers have already written their talks, the pandemic has forced them to adjust their content to make them relevant today.

“My talk is definitely going through some modification,” said student organizer Chloe Acosta ‘21. “Part of my talk was going out and talking to strangers which is now a lot more difficult, but I have found that people have been more willing to interact with people because they miss it.”

The event usually occurs in the last week of May with an audience of 100 people but having a virtual event presents new possibilities.

“Having a virtual event will give us a chance to reach a wider audience, especially if we are not limited to 100 people, and the talks will be available in electronic form for anybody to watch,” said Gunnick.

According to students in TedxYouth, working online has not been a significant obstacle for the program.

“It is definitely more difficult, but I don’t feel like it’s extraordinarily difficult,” Acosta said. “I feel that everyone in the school has adjusted and we have definitely become better at communicating online.”

Along with giving their talks to an audience, students will also have their talks put on the TED website.

“I can imagine the most rewarding part of the process will be giving my talk but also having it be published on TED’s website.” Goldman said.

Teachers and students agree that TedxYouth positively contributes to the Jones community.

“The program gets people to talk about these different things that are so important as a community, as teenagers, and as the next generation. It keeps us moving forward and it promotes those types of discussions that are really important.” Acosta said.