TEDxKids@BC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect passionate youth and kids to TED’s principles of sharing ideas to change lives and ultimately, the world. As an independently organized event, TEDx brings together local events to create a vibrant learning experience like no other. By uniting the power of youth, audiences can witness world-changing ideas from tomorrow’s emerging leaders on a wide range of topics. Towards the end of this year, the TEDxKids@BC conference will take place at Michael J. Fox Theatre so don’t miss this chance to come attend this awe-inspiring event! Whether you would like to get involved as a volunteer or attendee, there are many ways that you can come be part of this unique experience.
I recently caught up with Shi-Faye Foo, Marketing Coordinator for TEDxKids@BC, to talk a little bit about the organization and her experiences. If you would like to learn more about TEDxKids@BC, or if you want to contact Shi-Faye for more information, check out the links posted at the end of the article!
1. To start off, can you tell me a little about what you're majoring in and the organizations you are currently involved with?
I'm a Business student in my final year concentrating in Operations Management and Marketing. Currently, I am on a co-op term with SAP while working part-time at Starbucks. At SFU, I’m involved with the BASS Mentorship Program, Sustainable SFU, Peer Education and International Mentorship Program. Outside of school I am involved with TEDxKids@BC and SAP GIRLsmarts.
2. Why did you choose to get involved with TEDxKids@BC and how did you get involved?
I've always been passionate about being involved with organizations that support youth. I also enjoy watching TED conferences because they inspire and build this continuous momentum that unites generations to improve on the future. TEDxKids@BC stands apart from other organizations in that it gives adults, youth and children the opportunity to work together and achieve that momentum as one.
This organization truly is one of a kind because the unity it creates amongst such vast age groups through peer mentorship. As well, inspiration takes place more than just the day of the conference but throughout the entire process of the year. After hearing about TedxKids@BC on social media last year, I helped out with Marketing for the 2013 conference and had such a fantastic time that I will be coming back to help again this year.
3. What have you learned from your experience there?
Working with people from such a varied age range can be challenging. Naturally, different thoughts and opinions can arise, but the different age backgrounds can make it more interesting. From my experience, I learned that age really is nothing but a number. I assumed that my younger teammates would have less to contribute due to their young age, but I definitely underestimated their abilities. Not only were they more than capable of contributing ideas, but they brought a sense of empowerment that I have never experienced in a group setting before.
This group dynamic created limitless boundaries - the sky was just the limit! We were hungry and driven for success. Anything that we wanted to do, we could do and no one was going to tell us otherwise.
4. How do you stay motivated and focused in your role at TEDxKids@BC and in the additional volunteer commitments that you are involved with?
I've tried countless times to explain my motivations and passions when others question my hectic involvement and crazy schedule. I think it can be best understood by these lines from my favourite author J.K. Rowling.
"Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In it’s arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared."
Here, Rowling speaks about empathy, the ability to understand and sympathize with others. This sums up the reason why I choose to volunteer. I know somewhere there is a teenager that feels confused, a single mother that feels lost, a young child that cannot afford proper attire for gym class, a foreign student that feels lonely due to language barriers, an adult male that struggles with mental illness, and the list goes on. Somewhere, somehow, my actions mean something wonderful to someone else, and whether or not I know this person, it doesn't matter. Participating in organizations like TEDxKids@BC were some of the most meaningful and humbling experiences of my life.
5. Finally, through your vast volunteer experiences on and off campus, do you have any words of advice to those looking to get involved? Why do you think it's important for students to become actively engaged with their community?
Just do it! Stop over thinking about whether you are good enough or the fact that you might not know anyone there. I urge you to do something that challenges you and makes you feel uncomfortable. Surround yourself with dedicated, passionate and kind people, many of which volunteer! If you need more motivation, refer to this quote by Muhammad Ali. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth”.
For tickets, keep your eyes open for early bird attendee applications around June and check out a documentary on last year’s conference:
Beyond the Blog
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Shi-Faye at firstname.lastname@example.org , she would love to see you at TEDxKids@BC 2014! The event date is November 16th at Michael J. Fox theatre. If you would like to get involved, visit their website.