A Look Back, with Carrie Boucher

carrieCarrie Boucher has made her dream a reality with NOMADStudio Art Bus, which debuted at the 2014 Gasparilla Festival of the Arts She’ll be bringing NOMADStudio to LI4Es Gulf Coast MakerCon April 5 & 6, too. Enjoy this look back at how she made NOMADStudio come to life, and how you can empower yourself by listening to your inner voice of inspiration.

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A Look Back, with James Geiger

JamesWell, it clearly took some time, but we’re happy to report that the videos of our 2013 TEDxYouth event are now online!  The FIRST Institute film school students who shot our 2013 event encountered some technical difficulties, but managed to capture most of the spirit and passion of our great 2013 presenters.

We’ll be featuring each of our talks here in coming weeks, starting with James Geiger, who asks us to reconsider disabilities in “Disabled? I Don’t Think So!

Since our TEDxYouth event,  James has embarked on a new journey,  working on a full length documentary called “I Am Not My Disability.”

You can see the rest of our TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013 playlist at http://bit.ly/TEDxYouthTampaBay2013 .  Sadly, the FIRST film students were unable to record Promenade Action, who has been extremely understanding about the situation in their predictable and awesome classiness. But we’ll be sharing lots of opportunities to see and hear them in action all over Tampa Bay.

And check back here soon for more featured presenters and to see what they’re up to now!

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TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013 was one Big Spark of Inspiration!

From Matthew Temmer’s opening words to Avalon Theisen leading us in the first ever TEDxYouth@TampaBay Frog Chorus, TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013 was a truly wonderful and inspiring event!

Check out our photo album on Flickr  and visit back soon to see stories and videos from this year’s event.  And if you have some of your own stories and photos to share, drop us a line at info@LI4E.org or share your stories with us on our Facebook page.

Thanks! And see you next year, at our 2014 TEDxYouth Day event!

flickr photos

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TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013 Program Now Online!

program flyer Our 2013 TEDxYouth@TampaBay event program and agenda (at right)  is now online.

Click here for the full program, and tune into our Livestream channel at 1pm to enjoy the event with us!

Posted in Activism, Art, Education, Entrepreneurs, Environment, Event, Health, Music, Nature, Presenters, Science, Social Justice, Technology, TEDxYouth, TEDxYouth@TampaBay, TEDxYouthDay, Youth | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TEDxYouth@TampaBay Welcomes FIRST Institute Film Students

Logo Purple[4]This year, our TEDxYouth event is being recorded for us by students from  the F.I.R.S.T. Institute (Florida Institute of Recording, Sound, and Technology) in Orlando, as an outreach and training opportunity.  Based in Orlando,  with a 6,300 square foot campus of cutting-edge technology and production equipment, F.I.R.S.T. Institute specializes in offering career-specific training in the Digital Media Industry with a focus on Audio Engineering, Music Production, and Film & Video Production.

Students covering our event are more than halfway through the 8 month program, says Michelle Hill,  Program Director of the Film and Video Program at the school.

“They have currently completed production of both a small business commercial and testimonial customer video for a local Orlando business. They are accompanied by two seasoned faculty from the Film and Video Program at F.I.R.S.T. Institute.”

Faculty bring experience from working in the industry at fine companies such as Universal Studios, Orlando Magic, Atlantic Records, EMI, Fox Television, Warner Brothers, U.S. Department of Defense, and Harcourt, as well as with musical artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Deep Purple, and the Blue Man Group. Graduates of F.I.R.S.T. Institute have professional careers in the audio and visual industry at places like CBS Radio, Disney, Universal Studios, Cox Media, and Clear Channel Communications.

We’re grateful for F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s involvement in this year’s TEDxYouth@TampaBay event, adding more great young talent and energy to our 2013 TEDxYouth event.

Learn more about F.I.R.S.T. Institute at www.FIRST.edu


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TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013 – A Closer Look: Meet Evie Sobczak

Evie Sobczak

Evie Sobczak presenting her biofuel project at Intel

Evie Sobczak thinks. A lot. About a lot of things, and about ways to do things better.

The St. Petersburg High School student  earned the Innovation Exploration Award  and best in category – Energy and Transportation – at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix. Sobczak competed against 1,600 other finalists from 70 countries, to win with her project: Algae to Oil via Photoautotrophic Cultivation and Osmotic Sonication.    Her work has gained the attention of the Dept. of Energy, USCENTCOM, biofuel startups, and private citizens who are interested in green tech.

We chatted with Sobczak a bit about her work and her hopes for her TEDxYouth experience.

TEDxYouth@TampaBay: What inspired you to your field of study?

ES: The scientific method. I had great science teachers who encouraged research and theES 4 testing process. I became interested in biofuels after reading an article in a science journal waiting for a doctor’s appointment. I googled the article when I got home and spent the rest of the night researching algae. I even brought the article to school for current events (7th grade).  I remember telling my classmates that some day our cars will run on pond scum.  I hope my vision comes true.

TEDxYouth@TampaBay: What’s been the biggest “Spark!” in your life?

ES: The biggest spark in my life is research. I read everything I can find on algae fuel. The flame keeps burning because of all the encouragement and support I have received from teachers, my science fair director, Mr. Dickman, community programs such as the Rotary Club and Pinellas Living Green, and all the judges at the various science fair competitions.

TEDxYouth@TampaBay: What do you hope to bring to our TEDxYouth audience?

ES:  First, I hope to educate the audience on the use of algae as a biofuel. Secondly, I hope to encourage those who have a passion, no matter what it is, to pursue it.  It is never hard work when it’s your passion.  Third, I want to encourage community support for STEM education.  Support locate Science Fairs through participation and funding.

TEDxYouth@TampaBay: What do you hope to get out of your TEDxYouth experience?

ES: Although we have had only one rehearsal I have already felt encouraged by the other participants.  You not only hear about their passion, but you feel it.  The young girl and her love for frogs [Avalon Theisen] not only educated me on the importance of frogs for our ecosystem, but how your passion can make a difference no matter how old you are. I hope to gain an awareness of other people’s passion and what moves them to take action to a level where they are being recognized. TED talks is a great form of communication. I expect I will be contacted by others who are working with biofuels and hopefully we can exchange ideas.

And that, ultimately, is what TEDxYouth@TampaBay is all about – exchanging ideas.  We can’t wait to be inspired by all of you!

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TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013 – A Closer Look: Meet Neva Warren

facebook_369229551Fifteen year old Neva “Chipmunk” Warren just completed her bid to be the youngest solo thru hiker of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,200 mile trek that she finished on October 23, 2013. The Spring Hill teen started her hike on April 1 in Springer Mountain, GA, and covered, on average, about 12 – 13 miles per day, completing the hike in just under 7 months.

Her mantra to keep putting one foot in front of the other during her seven month sojourn 20130626_072809was a quote by Babe Ruth -  “Don’t let the fear of striking out, hold you back.”

She didn’t, and now she comes to TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013, this coming Saturday, with her message of empowerment for people of all ages, and especially for young women.

She believes her experience hiking the Trail will provide an eye opening view of the Appalachian Trail and how it affected her view of body image.

20130912_064346“I think it’s important that other people learn the lesson I learned while hiking the Appalachian Trail,” said Warren. “We value appearance too much over ability or strength. Society currently has an unhealthy body image and it would be healthier if it changed.

“I hope to inspire conversation within families aimed at making their family healthier and less focused on appearance. I hope it helps to construct a healthier body image, especially for young women.

In turn, she hopes to take away renewed faith in humanity from hearing about the insights and achievements of our other TEDxYouth presenters and sharing time with our guests, who will bring their own unique insights and experiences to the table as we consider the Sparks of Inspiration that move each of us.


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TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013 – A Closer Look: Meet Derek Tupper

UpstartDerek Tupper is a passionate entrepreneur who wears his enthusiasm for creative invention and social change proudly on his sleeve, and in his whole being.

“I am always happiest,”Derek says, ” when I am creating, debating, or mulling over ideas.”

Derek’s is a very collaborative view of innovation that embraces consumer innovation as well as his own.

“I am passionate about bringing products to market that enhance the consumer’s choice in what they do, and how they do it,” Derek tells us. ” I am a big believer in people taking a product, and coming up with a use for it that I didn’t think of. I think that whole process is very organic, and exciting. It would be beyond cool to have my customers take a product I make, and use it in a different way that I didn’t think of. My job if that happens is to evaluate if that use is helpful to the community, and if so, support that use by creating accessories, updates, or what is necessary to support the user’s needs.”

It’s that endless well of curiosity and interest in the world around him that brings Derek to TEDxYouth@Tampa Bay.

“I hope to bring to TedXYouth my passion for sharing ideas, and building a better future. I hope to take away a renewed passion for what I am trying to do. It is hard when you spend your days in the trenches creating your vision to stay passionate all the time. But when I get to hear about the passions of other people, it motivates me to press on with mine.”

Indeed, the biggest “spark” at TEDxYouth@TampaBay may well be how our presenters inspire one another with their bigger than life ideas and insights.  Derek believes that’s one of the greatest strengths of the TEDxYouth experience.

“I think the biggest job of a forum like TEDxYouth is to keep the passion flowing. I think the sharing of passions generates momentum to create a better world for ourselves. Without the ability to share what people are passionate about, we are better off just living in the Dark Ages. I think events like TEDxYouth@TampaBay will be the platforms from which a renaissance will ignite.”

We totally agree!

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TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013 – A Closer Look: Meet Avalon Theisen

avalonAvalon Theisen  is our youngest presenter this year. This remarkable 12 year old environmental activist founded her nonprofit,  Conserve It Forward, Inc. , in 2010 when she was just nine years old. Since then, she’s been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2011 International Young Eco Hero Award, 2012 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes,Radio Disney Heroes for Change Award, 2012 Temple Grandin Award and many others.

We asked Avalon a bit about her efforts and her feeling about being part of TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013.

“I hope to show others, especially youth, that small, ordinary things can inspire your interest and action,” said Avalon. “Once you find something you care about, even your small actions can make a big positive difference. The important thing is that you find what you love, then do something about it. Learn more, take action, and share it with others. Your interest may not be environmental. It may be speaking out for human rights, or developing new technology, but you can make a difference, no matter your age.”

Avalon is interested in what our other presenters have to say, too, and is looking forward to being inspired by both presenters and event guests.

” I love hearing stories of people doing great things, and acting on what they enjoy and believe it. It inspires me. I also love to learn about new things, and from the speaker line up, there are going to be a lot of great new things to learn!”

Even by TEDx standards, Avalon’s own passion and early activism is pretty inspiring. We asked her about her thoughts on youth activism and what she thought were some effective ways youth can have an impact on society.

“I think no matter your age, you can make a positive impact,” said Avalon. ” As long as you are doing something you really love to do and believe in, you will be making a positive difference. It does not take huge expensive actions to help. Small acts add up.

“You are important, and you can make a difference.”

Avalon certainly has!  We look forward to hearing more of her story on November 16th, at TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013!

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TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013 – A Closer Look: Meet Carrie Boucher

Carrie Boucher - Founder Photo

Photo credit Pen Carlson Photography

Carrie Boucher has been making artistic waves in Tampa Bay for the last couple of years, with her effort to create a mobile art program to serve youth on both sides of the Bay.  NOMADStudio (Neighborhood-Oriented Mobile Art & Design Studio) is ground in the belief that art is for all.

We asked Carrie to tell us more about herself and her very literal  “drive” to bring art to everyone.

“I was born in Detroit and moved here to the Tampa Bay area in the summer between fourth and fifth grade. From the day I started fifth grade I never felt like I completely fit in.


Carrie’s “Pink Crow Studio” work

“The fact that I’ve always had a very strong creative drive gave me a way to deal with feeling like a bit of a misfit. “

Carrie started her life as a professional artist in Chicago, splitting her time between her work as a metalsmith ,and doing product photography and window displays for a boutique in downtown Chicago. She returned to  Tampa Bay a couple of years ago, working first as an art teacher and now devoting her time to getting the NOMADstudio up and running.

Carrie believes the arts are a fundamental aspect of human experience.

“Art, music, theatre, dance, I don’t think their importance can be quantified, they’re just a part of who we are as humans, they allow us to share our experience. I can’t imagine a life without them, but we have to teach the value of the arts if we want them to continue to be appreciated and supported. I think that arts programming is essential because by learning and practicing and participating in the arts we expand our creative vocabulary. This gives us more ways to communicate our thoughts, feelings and beliefs, which enriches our lives and contributes to the cultural fabric of our community.”

The inspiration for the mobile art studio, says Carrie, came from a story she read about artists in London using retired subway cars as studios.

“Later, when I was an art teacher I taught at two different campuses and was always lugging supplies back and forth I thought it would be nice to have one classroom that I could take back and forth. That made me think of the mobile art studio. From there it was an easy jump to the idea of turning a bus into an art classroom.”

To TEDxYouth@TampaBay, Carrie wants to bring a sense of artistic intentionality.

“I would like to communicate my conviction that we need to pay attention to our creativity, we need to listen to our inner voice of inspiration. Creative thinkers who take chances are the people who make the biggest differences in their communities and worldwide. And just as I love sharing my passion and ideas with others I also love to listen to others share their ideas.

“Creative communities,” says says, ” are where connections happen, inside and outside our minds.

What she hopes to get from TEDxYouth@TampaBay is, quite likely, what we all would like to take from the experience of being together for our annual Youth Day event: “the energy and excitement that happens when creative people get together.”

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