3rd Annual TEDxYouth@RVA Begins Next Week

On Saturday, Nov. 19, the third annual TEDxYouth@RVA will take place in Collegiate School’s Hershey Center for the Arts, and the general public is invited to hear local speakers expound on the theme “What Now?”
Since last May, a group of Collegiate seniors and students from eight other area schools — Appomattox Regional Governor's School, Deep Run High School, George Wythe High School, Hanover High School, James River High School, Maggie Walker Governor's School, Saint Gertrude High School and Trinity Episcopal School — have planned this year’s free event, which will be held from 5-9 p.m. and available for viewing on livestream.
In designing this year’s program, students on the TEDxYouth@RVA curatorial team immersed themselves in Richmond, discovering creative and passionate individuals and organizations who envision never-before-seen possibilities and bring them to life. Civic engagement, inclusion and economic literacy were the cornerstones of the experiences. In order to choose whose stories and ideas needed to be shared, the students examined the diverse experiences and voices in the greater Richmond region.
As a group working toward a common goal, the students learned to rely on each other and discovered that they are stronger together, says Rhiannon Boyd, Collegiate School senior seminar teacher and TEDxYouth team co-mentor, along with Head Librarian Allen Chamberlain.  
“This kind of collaboration defies boundaries and is a rare opportunity to foster relationships, build community and develop a dedicated team,” she said. “The experience of being on this team is one of shared leadership. We talk about this kind of leadership as creating a shared vision from multiple voices and experiences where everyone is an equal partner.”
Several of the individuals the group discovered and invited to speak include:
  • Harrison Zierenberg, a senior at James River High School, will speak on the lessons he learned from a near-fatal car accident.
  • Emily Schall-Townley, a current college student and graduate of Monacan High School in Chesterfield, will speak on her two mothers’ court case which helped to overturn the same-sex marriage ban in Virginia.
  • Alvalia Pemberton, a filmmaker and recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, will speak on African-American beauty standards.
  • Scott Clark, a jazz musician, will speak on how he draws upon his passions for music and painting to add to the narrative of the experience of Native Americans in the U.S.
In addition to the talks, the event will include a catered dinner and an interactive session with local organizations such as Hack RVA and Miles of Scarves, who will offer audience members a hands-on experience of the work their organizations perform in the community.
Attendance to TEDxYouth@RVA is free, but registration is required at collegiate-va.ticketleap.com/tedxyouthrva2016.