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From Here to Everywhere – A TEDxYouth Event

After a successful first run, TEDxYouth@ChavisWay is back for its second year. Scheduled for April 13th, the event will feature young leaders between ages 11 and 19 from across the Triangle area to share ideas and generate dialogue about important issues. Maru Gonzalez, a Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences assistant professor and extension specialist, is overseeing the planning efforts in collaboration with Christy Byrd, an associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences. Wake County 4-H, #PassTheMicYouth, Alliance Health, and Raleigh Parks and Rec are also part of the collaboration team. 

This year’s theme—From Here to Everywhere—is based on the idea that local actions can resonate globally. Over 40 individuals applied to speak or perform at the event with nine of those applicants being chosen to speak and three being chosen to perform. Youth speakers will be covering a multitude of issues — including what it means to plant with purpose, how education can extend beyond the classroom, and the use of AI in sports. Performances will include spoken word poetry, Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance), and a piece from the Triangle Youth Music String Quartet. The event will be held at the John Chavis Memorial Park Community Center, a 37-acre City of Raleigh park opened as a recreational space for the city’s African American residents during segregation.

Aditi Rao, a sixth grader at Oberlin Middle School who is legally blind, will be sharing her vision for a more equitable world, focusing on accessibility for the visually impaired community. Rao states, “Accessibility is like a superpower for the disabled and can redefine lives. These small implementable ideas are worth sharing to have a positive rippling global impact.”

Aditi Rao

Gonzalez is confident about building on the successes of the inaugural event. Last year, 100% of youth participants agreed that being a part of TEDxYouth@ChavisWay was a positive experience for them, strengthened their commitment to inspiring change, increased their confidence in their ability to deliver a message effectively, and increased their confidence in their capacity to inspire change. According to Gonzalez, “The audience will be blown away by this year’s lineup. We can’t wait to listen to and learn from all the youth speakers and performers.”

Rao is also looking forward to the experience, adding, “I am excited to participate in TedxYouth@ChavisWay which is providing a platform to the youth in our community to share their intensely meaningful learnings and provide the audience with information to lead a richer meaningful life!”

To learn more about TEDxYouth@ChavisWay, visit the event’s website.