Getting a Voice

Sophomore Kevin Li brings TEDx to Hoover to give us a voice

Jonathan Le, Staff

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TEDx is a voice that has reached millions of people. TED speakers give research lectures, technology demonstrations, arts performances, and self-described world-changing ideas to a live audience of hundreds and a recorded presentation to thousands. According to, TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.”

TEDx comes here to allow students and teachers to speak out to help communities, allow individuals to spark conversations and speak about their experiences over life; however, TED hasn’t come to our school on its own. Sophomores Kevin Li and Arleen Schmude reached out earlier this year to TED to coordinate their first event at the Dennis Hildreth Auditorium. The specified date and time for the event will be announced over the intercom once the event date comes closer.

“I have been doing research into TEDx ever since [ninth grade] and they really encourage people to start a TEDx event. We needed a venue and since Hoover had an auditorium we decided to do it,” Li said.

Li and Schmude have both been impressed by what TED has done around the world.

“My best friend [Li] was interested in TEDx and he showed me a lot of Ted talks, [there was] one about scientists trying to grow coral in a lab,” Schmude said.

The topic of discussion for their TEDx event will be Past and Future. Each volunteer speaker will be given an 18 minute window to present. Science teacher Michael Blair and a Ukrainian student have expressed interest in speaking at the event, according to Li and Schmude.

“Some students will be talking about education and how they will change the system,” Li said.

Li and Schmude encourage any students who have something they can speak passionately about to apply to speak using the email, [email protected].

“The license we applied for allows us to host 100 people for first TEDx events,” Li said.

Li and Schmude want to bring new ideas and change to our school to make it a better and safer learning environment for all students. Moreover, they want to give students and teachers a chance to speak out.

“It’s easy to solve a problem that everyone sees, but it’s hard to solve a problem almost no one sees,” iPod inventor Tony Fadell said at his TED presentation.

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