Our Emcee, Ghelder Arriaga , helped turn what we believe about libraries and librarians upside down and inside out! As a Youth Librarian working with youth communities in Pinellas and Pasco counties for the past six years, Ghelder said, “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to develop library programs and services for non- traditional youth communities, and am helping to successfully rebuild the love of reading and libraries among underserved youth communities.”
Ray Land, 23, is the owner and president of Fabulous Coach Lines in Branford, FL, and was one of Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2010 Finalists for America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs, age 25 and younger. He founded his company, Fabulous Coach, in 2004, which he was still in high school. He brought to TEDxYouth@TampaBay his message of warmth and good will to all – and a reminder that a smile is not only infectious, it can set the stage for your own achievement.
Bob Barancik is the founder and director of the CreativeLedge Web site, CreativeLedge Studio, and the CreativeShare conference. He received an M.A. from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, and dual degrees in fine arts and architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has received awards from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Leadership Philadelphia for his creative contributions to the civic life of the community. As a “Creative Connector,” Bob has invited environmentalists, authors, professors, entrepreneurs, and artists into the ever-growing dialogue on how to assess the unique needs of a community, maintain cultural integrity, provoke social change, and recognize the potential for economic progress. At TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2010, Bob shared his unique Kafka-esque look at climate change.
Ten year old Brandon Wood was our youngest presenter, and possibly our most serious in tone and focus. He works to raise funds for rescued chimps advocates for the release of chimpanzees from medical labs, urging people to support passage of the Great Ape Protection Act H.R. 1326. Brandon believes we can make a difference “One Voice at a Time“.
Dan Cannon , Florida Organizer for Southern Energy Network, coordinates the Southern Energy Network and Energy Action Coalition’s campaigns in Florida. He is responsible for building and supporting the youth climate movement in Florida while working with the greater Southern Energy Network and Energy Action Coalition to build leadership across the south and nation.
Eric Stewart , a biology student at St. Petersburg College in Pinellas county, FL. , started Code Green Community in 2008 following reading the Transition Handbook, by Rob Hopkins (Green Books) - a book about communities transitioning away from fossil fuel use by coordinating a positive future vision. Code Green Community, at the time of TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2010, has 230 members starting groups in their local towns working on community gardens, neighborhood projects, as well as their own individual lives to transition away from fossil fuels.
Steve Turner, owner and founder of Giving Tree Music Inc. believes in using rhythm as a vehicle to build community through “Human Empowerment.” His teaching style is based on his belief that all people have a natural sense of rhythm, stemming from their own heartbeat; all it takes is to believe in yourself and allow the music to flow through. He inspired the music to flow through all of us at TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2010!
Joe Scarfone has been a leader in youth activism for over a decade, beginning with his work with the truth campaign as a member of Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) in high school, where his leadership helped guide the direction of the statewide movement. Joe is also the creator of the Youth Activism Facebook Page and Youth Activism Twitter Page , which serve as resource centers and communication platforms for youth activists around the globe, as well as the voice behind Joe Unfiltered.
Andrea Willingham , an Eckerd College student majoring in Environmental Studies and Anthropology, describes herself as “totally fascinated by life” and “being ceaselessly amazed around every corner.” A trip abroad to live in the UK for four months when she was 19 years old was nothing short of epiphanous, for her. She shared her presentation on going out into the world, with her mother, Theresa Willingham, a freelance writer, who reflected on the importance of letting her go.
Mike Imbasciani was just a couple of weeks shy of 14, when he performed at TEDxYouth@TampaBay. But this teenage Blues and classic Rock phenome from Port Charlotte, who’s riffs were already making big ripples not just here on the Gulf Coast, but in Blues and Rock meccas Memphis, Nashville and Atlanta, rocked the house! He’s been playing guitar since he was five years old, inspired by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and others. “…the Blues seem to be a natural part of me just waiting to get out every time I pick up my guitar.”
Marc Romera, 18, was moved by the deaths of three friends in one year, two of whom were suicides, to create the Live Your Life project, with his friend, Brian Rodriques , to encourage students to be more tolerant and accepting of others. His mission is “to set a higher standard of love and acceptance for the youth of our nations”. It’s not what we say, but we do that can make a difference in someone’s life, he says, and encourages others, with his words, actions and music, to “stop dying for nothing and start living for something.”
Kelly Addington and Becca Tieder are experts on sexual assault awareness and prevention and sexual empowerment and have been nationally recognized for their achievements in sexual assault education. Their non-profit organization, One Student,org, is based on their core belief that one sexual assault is too many and that one student can make a difference. One Student provides students and their allies with programs, resources and opportunities to create social change and help reduce sexual violence.
Beti Gathegi is the founder of Poly Republic a multimedia website that focuses on career women. Gathegi started the project in an effort to build a community showcasing dynamic women with interesting careers to actively engage readers and to share the wisdom, information and stories of women who have discovered what they want to do in life. Her TEDxYouth@TampaBay is an energized and inspiring romp through a life enthusiastically lived!