On Saturday, I was part of something incredible.
TEDxYouth@Seattle was an event that has taken me on one of the greatest emotional roller coasters of my life, but on Saturday, all of that was forgotten and I was on cloud nine. Over the past eight months, I have been in the trenches with a number of other young and passionate individuals, people I believe truly want to make the world a better place, working hard to make this event happen. I owe them – Jessica Hendrawidjaja, Kimmi Newsum, Michael Kim, Chris Mathews, Alex Diaz, and Cindy Wu – my deepest gratitude for making this experience what it was. Although I was “Creative Chair” and emcee for the event, anyone who has been apart of a seven-person team knows that titles are poor descriptions for what each person contributes. Everyone on our team was helping out in every aspect of this event, and it really showed on Saturday.
While being an emcee for the event was a huge honor and pleasure, the greatest joy came from simply being at the event. I was witness to an awe-inspiring lineup of young talent from the west coast who conveyed messages of love, agency, change, and ultimately passion about our role and responsibility to make the world we live in better. It may be through empowering ourselves, empowering others, starting a business, building a product, or simply dancing, but there is room for all of us to step forward, shed our disbelief, and try to change the world. As Houston Kraft reminded us, sometimes someone just needs to say “I think you’d be good at it.” For the attendees at TEDxYouth@Seattle on Saturday, there were ten speakers who told them just that, through a variety of stories, experiences, and emotions, and you could feel the energy changing in the room.
While there are a number of things I would change if we did this over again, I would do it again in a heartbeat. Being a part of a room of hundreds of people who are interested and engaged in changing the world is invigorating in so many ways. The smiles, conversations, and energy I felt during the breaks between the sessions were empowering, and I was thankful for every single person in that room. I can confidently say that everyone at the event was moved in some way, all I can hope is that every one of them realized that they have the capacity and the responsibility to be an agent of change in this world.
As a final note, I need to thank all of our speakers, sponsors, volunteers and audience one more time. YOU were what made this event happen.