Student Speakers Prep for First TED-Ed Night


Jenny Won

Freshman Kevin Lu rehearses his speech, “Success is a Marathon.” Six speakers will be present.

Jenny Won, Business Team Member

TED-Ed club, the Portola chapter of the nonprofit organization Technology, Entertainment and Design, will host TED-Ed Night at 6 p.m. on March 29 in the Student Union. The student-run event will feature six student speakers: junior Kyle Sugita and freshmen Andrew Chen, Kevin Lu, Hassan Samiullah, Shreya Shah and Madeleine Young.

“My vision in creating the TED-Ed Club was to foster an environment and platform in which students could share and express their ideas,” club president Lu said. “Every student has a unique perspective on life and has a story to tell, so giving them the opportunity to do so has always been my singular goal and vision.”

Some of the featured topics include the impact of affirmative action on Asian students, long-term journeys to academic success, fostering environments for those with disabilities, desensitization due to social media, everyday heroes and defining the word “passion” for American youth.

“Our entire team has been working together for months to make sure this night comes out the best it can, as we want to make the TED-Ed legacy a lasting one,” freshman and club secretary Michelle Kim said.

Founded this school year, TED-Ed club encourages its members to research and develop speeches for topics that they are passionate about as well as coaching students in public speaking skills.

“Our board members are extremely self-directed, and I am so proud of the drive and initiative they have shown this year,” club adviser Cale Kavanaugh said. “They have great vision for where they want to take the club in the future.”

The nonprofit organization TED is known for its engaging seminars or “TED Talks.” According to its website, TED’s mission is to share “ideas worth spreading.” As a chapter of TED, TED-Ed is devoted to “lessons worth sharing” and provides a platform for students and educators to have their voices heard in the community.

“TED-Ed and everything our club stands for is simply sharing our thoughts and ideas to everyone who wants to listen,” public relations manager Young said. “It’s so inspiring to see how genuinely some students want to spread their ideas and knowledge.”

TED-Ed Night is open to all students and is estimated to be two hours long, with an intermission between speeches. Admission is free. Other clubs on campus will fundraise by selling refreshments before the event and during intermission.

“I think everyone that attends will leave inspired and refreshed with the exciting ideas that are going to be shared,” Kavanaugh said. “It’s a great way to start your spring break.”