TEDxThornton Academy held its very first TEDx event on Saturday, March 16, 2019, in Saco, Maine. (My hometown of Old Orchard Beach is the next beachtown up the southern Maine Coast from Saco.) Because my inspirational keynote speech, “I Can Do This,” could be a perfect fit for a future TEDTalk (especially for a High School student audience!), I could not miss attending this premiere event.
While waiting to enter the auditorium, I had a wonderful chat with a woman named, Paula. She is the mother of a young lady student, Kristina, who is one of the organization team members for the event. Paula was quite the awesome conversationalist, asking for my own reasons for attending the event. I explained that I was a speaker who lived in the nearby town who was interested in learning how this TEDx team would be doing things. Paula reacted so positively to hearing about my “I Can Do This” message as a possibility for a future TEDTalk that she introduced me directly to her daughter – who gladly took my business card and said she would bring it to the leaders.
As the event began, 4 speakers gave their talks. (There would be three sessions of 4 speakers each, divided by two 45 minute breaks.) That first session led to the first of the two breaks. During the first break, out in the activity area, I quickly met the two Co-Leaders, the brains who started, organized, and led this whole TEDxThorntonAcademy. I was both impressed and honored by the leadership and friendliness of these two amazing young ladies, Iris Tran and Zoey Nguyen.
Yes, I know. That pic is not a good pic – blurry. I will explain more here below. So that you know, in these pics, Iris is on the left and Zoey is on the right – even though I heard most people saying their names as “Zoey and Iris.”
These two Co-Leaders told me that they had received my card that had been handed to them earlier (from Kristina); they were also glad to take two more business cards for themselves too. Zoey and Iris both positively expressed how my “I Can Do This” message could be good be a perfect fit for high school student audience.
The theme of this first event was “Find Your Flow.” In the activity area, a “Wall of Flow” and a can of magic markers “invited” attendees to write whatever they saw as their own “flow.”
During the second break, Co-Leader Zoey Nguyen asked me to write something on it too. Anyone who knows me can already guess what I wrote! She knew it would be this too – Haha!
I chose a green magic marker for YES/GO message, and wrote the message of my own Flow, “I Can Do This!”
During the second break, the team had their event’s photographer take pictures of the organization team standing in front of the repeated-logo backdrop (i.e, the backdrop in the earlier-above pic with my face standing in front of it). Zoey and Iris sought me out to take a pic with them with their photographer that way too. I asked if he could take a pic with my phone too; they said they’d send me the copy, so no worries.
Near the end of that second break, I came across Zoey and Iris again, who were having a conversation with Paula. I asked if Paula would take a picture with my phone. Paula rightly made sure that the young ladies were okay with that. I immediately re-affirmed that I would not have even asked if we had not had the previous picture-taking conversations.
That pic did not come out too well, so we tried to take another one.
That still did not work out too well. I asked for the pic to be taken as a horizontal shot.
Ugh. Even as Zoey was then doing a thumbs up, my own hands were dropping to my sides. Let’s try again, shall we?
Well, that was almost perfect. Let’s have just one more, just to be safe!
Yay, now that works!
Anyway, to the credit of Zoey Nyguyen‘s and Iris Tran‘s outstanding Co-Leadership, with their fantastic team who all worked together to make it all happen, this premiere event of TEDxThorntonAcademy on March 16, 2019, was a huge success. The success of this whole event is indeed a perfect example of Co-Leaders and their team saying, “I Can Do This!“
I am looking forward to the next TEDxThorntonAcademy event in 2020!