Edelbert Claudio - Edelbert Claudio is a senior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory in San Francisco, California. Inspired by his mom who is an intensive care unit nurse, he is drawn to learning more about the advancement and future of our growing medical field, immersing himself into the world of healthcare. It was his experience at CPMC as a medical volunteer that initially taught him the fundamentals and values of human health care, including the focus on human dignity and compassion. In his free time, Edelbert enjoys running with his track team, reading books about psychology and philosophy, playing the drums, and spending time with his friends and family. By sharing his talk, he hopes to inspire others as well to seek their passions and find their essence in life.
Audrey Moore - Audrey Moore is an adventurous and creative junior at Campolindo High School. She enjoys swimming, teaching kung fu, and exploring new places. Her fun-loving spirit and quirky sense of humor lead her into many different scenarios that give her great global perspective. Combined with her passion for helping others, Audrey is excited to spread her views on empathy's power to change the world. In the future, she hopes to continue having a positive impact on others, whether it be by sharing a smile or an insight.
Mei Tam - Mei Tam is a senior at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, California. As a Chinese-American attending a predominately white high school, she has come to realize the importance of keeping one's own identity despite being a minority. She hopes to help Asian Americans redefine their identity that many, including herself, has struggled with growing up. Mei hopes that once Asian-Americans can change how they view themselves, the community will become more comfortable with themselves and they will have the confidence to raise their voices.
Leah Graves - Leah Graves is a Sophomore at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Leah self identifies as a “highly sensitive person” and has struggled emotionally to understand what that means for her. Her own difficulties with her emotional development prompted her to tell her story and share what helped, and hindered her on the journey.
Nicole Kim - Nicole Kim is a junior at Saint Francis High School who loves music, literature, and animals. She is a first generation immigrant who came to America with her parents in 2001. Living in the diverse and multi-ethnic Bay Area, Nicole has had the privilege of experiencing and observing different families and communities. From her personal experiences, she has learned that being an immigrant is an inextricable part of your identity and goes beyond food, language, media and culture. Nicole has never shared the stories she will be telling to a larger audience and she is both very excited and nervous to do so! She hopes that her talk will be of value to everyone, whether or not they are an immigrant. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys going on walks with her dog, running, listening to podcasts, and watching Korean talk shows.
Anjana Iyer - Anjana Iyer is a senior at Saint Francis High School. She has been an avid reader and a curious observer from a very young age. She often questioned and analyzed the characters in her favorite books or movies and enjoyed studying human behavior in school science projects. As a result, she is very interested in psychology. She also enjoys listening to film scores and loves learning more about her favorite composers’ musical styles. Her passion for both psychology and film scores have allowed her to dig deeper into each field and ask questions about the possibilities in medical research that come from a combination of the two. Anjana also enjoys dancing and watching films in her free time and is a member of her school’s varsity debate team.
Alex Yeh - Alex Yeh is a junior at Lick-Wilmerding High School who loves the arts, reading, and nature. Because he almost lost his best friend to peer pressure, he wants to show how few things are more important than good friendships. He’s learned that meaningful lifelong relationships are a priority over rushed romantic ones, and he hopes that others can learn this too.
Emily Fukada - Emily Fukuda is a junior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, where she has branched out into all things Visual and Performing Arts. Prioritizing friends and family over everything else, she wants to share her story to warn others how peer pressure can easily manipulate and destroy meaningful relationships. Through her experience, she hopes others can learn the value of friendship.
Tiffany Cabrera - Tiffany Cabrera is currently a senior at Saint Francis, Mountain View. She has a love for all things creative and spends much of her free time teaching herself skills such as video editing, user interface design and digital photography. In her talk, she will discuss her deep love for learning and how other students can also take initiative over their own education.
Purva Joshi - Purva Joshi is currently a sophomore in high school and she has witnessed firsthand how it feels like to be a young adult in a world where there is always something to be afraid of. But now she shares the story of how a simple change in perspective allowed her to control the seemingly insurmountable power of fear.
Aishani Aatresh - Aishani Aatresh, a freshman at Saint Francis High School, has loved leading, learning, and talking forever; she “taught” her stuffed animals as a toddler and was often reading or asking questions. As a teenager, only the scale of these activities has changed as she continues to play soccer and pursue music, along with other endeavors on and off campus. Aishani’s allergies to cashews and pistachios have also been with her from a young age. Her experiences with her allergies have surprisingly contributed to her life, driving her curiosity and otherwise unfathomable projects, especially for science fairs. Though she loves almost every subject at school, she currently aspires to work or teach in computational biology or biotechnology.
Arrian Ebrahimi - Arrian Ebrahimi, a junior from Saint Francis High School, has long been exposed to a diversity of religious and cultural influences; however, rather than follow one of these as his path in life, he has forged his own path in faith. In his talk, Arrian will explore a new way of looking at faith and discuss how this new view of faith unites us all. Arrian is an advocate of his beliefs, having been a student speaker at his school's interfaith prayer and having spoken at a protest he helped organize. He is also a Varsity member of his school's cross-country and track teams, a board member of his school's International Club, and a lover of learning foreign languages.
Catriona Black - Catriona Black is a junior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory in San Francisco. She represents her school on the varsity soccer and lacrosse teams and has played sports from a young age. Growing up, she struggled with the conflict of how she can be considered an athlete and yet still be regarded as feminine. Through her talk, she wants to share her story of how she overcame this dilemma using role models from the athletic world that inspired her. She hopes to make people aware of the necessity of a broader definition of what it means to be feminine.
Ce - Lai Fong - Ce-Lai Fong is a junior at San Ramon Valley High School and a writer for Affinity Magazine, a social justice publication. Ce-Lai’s journey with bullying has caused her to be passionate about helping others and it pushed her to embrace living as the most authentic version of herself. By sharing her story, Ce-Lai hopes to inspire others to live as the truest versions of themselves.
Naliyah Martinaz-Truso - Naliyah Martinez-Truso is a senior at San Lorenzo High School in San Lorenzo, California. She is deeply passionate and extremely dedicated to the work of peace and advocacy and has dedicated much time and energy toward spreading this through clubs she has created on campus including Youth Consciousness, and the intersectional feminist club, as well as her involvement in the Black Student Union. As a leader at the Mosaic Project, she has learned and taught the three keys to peace: empathy, assertiveness, and listening. Her work of transforming society's self-perpetuated pyramid of violence into a pyramid of peace has led her to curate this talk from her eye-opening experience. She hopes that you all take a piece of it with you.
Brian Underwood - Brian Underwood is currently an 8th grader at Hillbrook School. He has always had an interest in science, technology and coding, and has become even more interested with the releases of virtual reality headsets. In his TEDx Talk, he and his friends talk about empowering students through coding and what schools could do better to inspire kids to code. In his free time, Brian enjoys programming, water polo, and hanging out with his friends.
Max Ptacek - Max Ptacek is an 8th grader at Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, California. He loves all things technological and mechanical, and he has always loved the concept of VR. His passion for video games led him to join his friends in creating their own game. In his talk, he and his friends will talk about empowering kids through code, how schools are teaching kids coding wrong, and how that can be fixed. He hopes he can inspire children and adults alike to try their hand at coding.
Ben Makarechian - Ben Makarechian is an 8th grade student at Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, California. For the last two years, his passions have been playing sports, exercising, and computer programming. In his talk with Brian Underwood and Max Ptacek, he describes how his own experiences with programming were enhanced by connecting it to his passions. He and his group also outline how they hope others can enjoy learning to code by connecting projects to an existing passion.
Jackie Foti - Jackie Foti is a senior at Sacred Heart Cathedral and has lived in San Francisco her entire life. She is on the Track and Field and Cross Country teams at SHC. She enjoys partaking in sports, hanging out with her friends, and reading, especially spiritual and self-healing books. She has a strong interest in the concept of happiness and fulfillment with oneself as well as others. She intends to continue her passion for this topic by majoring in Psychology in college.
Kinga Hope Csikszentmihalyi - Kinga is a sophomore at Sacred Heart Cathedral. She loves soccer, photography, music, and solving the problems she sees in the world. Ever since her little brother was diagnosed with autism, she has had a passion for changing people’s views on the disorder. She and her family’s journey with her brother has not been easy. They worked hard to receive the diagnosis, having to jump through the hurdles of the school system and therapies, and ultimately dealing with the barriers in communication that make relationships hard. Through all this, she has been able to create a great relationship with him and with other amazing people in the autism community, which has inspired her to show the often overlooked, unique, incredible side of people on spectrum to the world. She believes that raising awareness about the beauty of autism is the first step to opening up opportunities for all people who are on the autism spectrum.
Janani Krishnan-Jha - Janani Krishnan-Jha is a senior at San Mateo High School. At SMHS, she has served as Captain of the Mock Trial Team, President of the Model UN Team, Founder and President of the Speech and Debate Club, Club & Class Commissioner, Choir President/Student Director, Executive Member of the Renaissance Leadership Team, and Publicity Chair of the Writing Club; outside of SMHS, she has been honored to receive a 2015 National Scholastic Award in Writing at Carnegie Hall, intern for Congresswoman Jackie Speier, appear in many local musical theatre productions (both on and offstage), earn multiple awards in the realm of public speaking, and perform in various venues across the Bay Area as an avid jazz vocalist. A passionate public speaker and practicing Hindu, she feels thrilled to bring the issue of religious bias in high schools to a larger spotlight, and hopes to raise awareness about the growing problem while illuminating possible solutions. Janani plans to continue her advocacy next year as a member of the Class of 2020 at Harvard College.
Eric Wang - Eric Wang is a senior at San Mateo High School, where he has worked as the Captain and Secretary-General of the San Mateo Math Team, Executive Manager of the Green Team, and both the Founder and Problem Coordinator of the Middle-School Mateomatics Competition. He teaches problem solving techniques at his local middle school, contributes code to open-source software projects, and has conducted original research in stellar evolution and hyperdimensional geometry, currently in the process of publication. He has also participated in national-level competitions in linguistics, algorithms, and mathematics, performing strongly in each. In his free time, he writes in books, plonks around on his piano, and rambles at length about literature. As an agnostic, Eric has always been interested in how humans’ perceptions of the world are shaped by internal and external factors. He hopes to encourage people to examine the interactions between themselves and society.
Dylan Brown - Dylan Brown is a junior at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, California. Empowered to speak up about the effects of racism on not only his own life, but the effect it has on countless lives of black youth around the country, Dylan will share a message about the complexities of racial tensions youth of color are forced to confront in American society. - “I want my story to be heard, to not only resonate with my audience, but to call them to re-examine the role racial bias plays in their life. I want them to walk away with an understanding of what it is like to live in a society that will define who you are, and judge what you say, before you have even spoken one word."
Tomás Saldaña-Mitre - Tomás Saldaña-Mitre is a junior at SHC and has a developing passion for cycling and engineering, which he hopes to combine in the future to make something really awesome. As a founding member of I2, an innovation and inquiry program at SHC, he enjoys to collaborate with his peers. Tomás spends a large portion of his free time riding bikes or researching cycling in the hopes of understanding the sport that motivates many. He is also one of the few students who actually commutes to SHC via bike, a rare breed indeed.
Carolyn Scott - Carolyn Scott, a junior at SHC, has always had a passion for imagining, designing and building. As such, she is drawn to both science and math, but also the arts, and loves exploring the places where they overlap. In her talk, she will explore how the physical aspects of construction and design intersect with society and family. Carolyn has performed onstage as a singer and actor in SHC's chorus and drama productions. She is a member of the cross country and track teams, and enjoys drinking tea and reading newspapers or novels in her spare time.
Riley Chagniot - Riley Chagniot is a senior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep and was born and raised in San Francisco. She is a part of the softball team and on the Spirit Rally Board at SHC. Riley enjoys listening to the classics, hanging out with friends, and watching classic comedies. She has found herself in comedy; she is trying to make individuals happier and use her comedic skills to change the world.
Vita Solorio-Fielder - Vita Solorio-Fielder, a junior at SHC, spends her time obsessing over the college admissions process and analyzing the sexual implications of everything as much as she can. Besides this, she is an editor of her school's literary magazine, the host of their poetry slam, and is on the robotics team. As of the past year and a half, she has been utterly infatuated with sex education. She hopes to share her passion for the topic with all and perhaps teach a thing or two along the way.
Liliana Steeg - Liliana Steeg is a senior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory in San Francisco, California. Deeply passionate about the prevalent social justice issues of poverty and homelessness, Lily will share her experience of actively working to address the issue in her San Francisco community through the distribution of sleeping bags through Warm Corazones, an organization she co-founded. Through this incredible experience Lily has learned not to be overwhelmed into inaction, but rather strive to make a difference in her community.
Carter Pauline Roa - Carter Pauline is a junior at SHC who performs for the theater and the choir programs. Her passion for the performing arts started when she was very young and hopes to perform outside professionally one day. As a young girl she has always been described as independent and strong. This was an amazing compliment and she always questioned why some girls aren't told the same. Her topic was inspired by the events that she witnessed growing up, and she's happy that now she gets to share the importance of developing a strong, independent young woman.
Michael Legon - Michael Legon is currently a junior at Marin Academy in San Rafael, California. He is a dedicated jazz pianist, starting at the age of 9 and quickly taking up the styles of the great jazz musicians. He currently plays in a jazz trio called Blue News and performs at concert venues and parties all over Marin and San Francisco. It was through his work in his trio that he began teaching music at Cascade Melody Music School in San Rafael, teaching jazz to students of a variety of ages and skill levels. In his free time, he enjoys playing jazz piano, as well as discussing foreign films, classic literature, fashion, and political philosophy.
Andre Menchavez - Andre Menchavez is a junior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory and is the captain of SHC's Dance Team. He is an advocate for HIV/AIDS education and volunteers at many events. Andre is currently training to become an ambassador for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. With this talk, Andre hopes to fight ignorance through education and change the stigmas around HIV/AIDS.
Rachel Yuen - Rachel is a Senior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, where she is actively involved in student council. Rachel's friends describe her as a ball of non-stop energy. She spends much of her time outside school with her fencing club, and has had the opportunity to broaden her global outlook through national and international competitions. This year, through some of her classes such as "Living and Dying" and "Prayer and Spirituality", she has learned to look at life in new and positive ways. Like many of her peers, she has endured ups and downs and is learning to love herself more and more everyday, and in her talk she hopes to inspire others to do the same. Aside from fencing and school, Rachel likes to spend her time perfecting her skills in the kitchen, especially her bruschetta recipes.
Priyanka Vatturi - Priyanka Vatturi is currently a junior at James Logan High School in Union City. Most of her time is taken up by school work and studying, but in her free time she is an avid musician and fitness junkie. In JLHS she serves as varsity members in cross country, track and field, and speech and debate. She is also the president of her pre-med club and a leader in her Future Business Leader of America and Marketing and Management club. Priyanka is a nationally ranked athlete and talks on a social issues radio show every week. Since she was young, Priyanka has been competitive in speech and has always had an affinity for sharing her ideas with others. As a speech and debate team member, she is very passionate about social change and spreading new ideas. She feels very strongly about sexism towards women, because she has first hand experience with this issue. She knows the limitations that are involved in changing this and wants to be a youth ambassador for gender equality. She hopes that, using this event as an outlet, she will be able to spark change and conversation on a national and global scale.