TEDxYouth@MICDS Event Inspires Students to Scale the Ladder

Thanks to the diligent, passionate planning by Grihith Varaday ’20 and College Counselor Mr. Scott Herrmann-Keeling, our first-ever TEDxYouth@MICDS event took place last weekend! TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, is all about spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful talks. Originally beginning as a conference format in 1984, the name has remained the same while talks have expanded to cover almost all topics. As a branch of the organization, TEDx events are independently run to help share ideas in communities around the world like ours at MICDS!

TEDxYouth@MICDS, emceed by Varaday and Tanay Chandak ’20, included six pre-recorded and five live talks from a diverse group of speakers, ranging from a trauma neurosurgeon to a 21-year-old motivational speaker. The student-curated event featured speakers from the St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond. One speaker even flew all the way in from Dallas. All five speakers were to address exactly what motivated them to “Scale The Ladder” (STL) and achieve what they had in their respective fields.

Take a look at the TEDxYouth@MICDS speakers and topics:

Cutting through the Fog
Dr. Greg Bowman
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Washington University School of Medicine

Scaling the Ladder When The Rungs Are Broken
Dr. Adia Wingfield
Professor of Sociology, Washington University in St. Louis

Time is Life
Dr. Laurie Punch
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine

The Power of Social Emotional Learning in Schools
Mr. Kyle Dendy
Young Motivational Speaker/Orator, Dallas, TX

Living a Life of Art
Dr. Simon Kelly
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, St. Louis Art Museum

According to Varaday, one of the highlights of the event was the standing ovation that followed Mr. Kyle Dendy’s final line in his presentation: “If you have a pulse, you still have purpose.” Dendy, a 21-year-old author of four books, spoke to how grades don’t define you and that life is much more than academics.

Event organizers shared, “Our goal is to inspire ourselves and our peers—the next generation of innovators, artists, and leaders—through talks that expand our worldview and foster a greater sense for learning and discovery.” After the six months it took to apply and be granted an official license to operate this TED event, it’s safe to say the hard work paid off! Through this platform, they wanted “to share talks that were not just informative, but truly relatable to our diverse teenage audience,” expands Varaday. “Our speakers were amazed by the intellectual curiosity of our students, and I believe TED will continue as a long-standing tradition at MICDS in the years to come.”

Final videos from the speakers will be edited and published on the official TED website. We hope that this is the first of many TEDxYouth@MICDS events to come!