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Our First TEDxYouth@ASF Rocked!

By Dr. E Adam Smith

This past Saturday, September 28, The American School Foundation hosted its first ever TEDxYouth@ASF event. The event was a great success due to the hard work and dedication that our student leadership team, speakers, performers, tech club, volunteers, and advisors put into it. The whole process of putting on the first official TEDx event at ASF started over seven months ago and culminated in an event that included 9 upper school student speakers, 4 teacher speakers, and 4 live student performances that looked to inspire our community through different ideas. As the faculty advisory of the TEDxYouth@ASF event, I could not be prouder of the job of all our participants.

Sometimes all our students need is an opportunity and a small push to achieve incredible things. TEDxYouth@ASF provided such an opportunity, allowing our students and staff a venue to express their feelings and thoughts and motivate us through their passions. As a TEDx event, our speakers delivered talks on a variety of topics and disciplines all which fit into this year’s theme of “What If?”.  Through their talks on the state of “flow”, habits, surviving cancer, mental health, the taboo of menstruation, contrasting reality and appearance, climate change, the beauty of Huichol art, micro-aggression’s detriment to society, 4MAT thinking, internet access, being an artist, and knowing your fears, our speakers had the audience discussing critical issues in today’s society. Some very talented students also gave the audience a ballet, a rap written specifically for the event, a live performance piece, and a song from the drama club that all rounded out the day. Attendees enthusiastically discussed the different talks and performances throughout Saturday’s breaks, and were eager to see and hear what the next speaker had to say. 

As the Service Learning Coordinator at ASF, I cannot imagine a greater event for the ASF community. Our student leadership team has developed skills and gained knowledge on how to organize a large event. The amount of teamwork, collaboration, and problem solving that it took to pull it off is impressive. Our speakers had to fully work out their ideas and think critically about issues that face the world today, as well as memorize their speeches to say in front of a sold-out crowd! And our community, staff, parents, and students, got an opportunity to discuss and think about our theme and the talks that inspired.

The TEDxYouth@ASF student and teacher talks will be published on the TEDx official YouTube page within the next month, so stay tuned. If you want to know more about TEDx, our leadership team, our speakers, or performers, check out this WEBSITE. And, we look forward to hosting the 2nd annual TEDxYouth@ASF event next year!

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me at

Dr. E Adam Smith

Service Learning Coordinator