A group of Blair Academy students visited Gill St. Bernard’s School on February 13th to present TED talks about a wide range of topics, including vaping, prejudice, and panic disorder.
TED is a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful speeches. A TEDx event is an independently organized gathering where live talks and previously recorded videos are presented to an audience. TEDx events act as a local platform for speakers to share compelling ideas with the community.
Blair Academy and Gill St. Bernard’s School annually host their own TEDx conference, alternating between the two schools. It allows students from both high schools to write and deliver an original Tedx talk on a topic of their choice. Students from various grades represented Blair, writing, memorizing, and practicing their presentations with support from Mr. Beck.
Tanner Humphrey ’19, creator of the Melanie Humphrey Breath of Life Fund in honor of his late mother, gave a talk about coping with loss. Titled “Tragedy to Triumph,” Tanner shared his personal story of his family’s struggle after his mother’s lung cancer diagnosis. He also recommended ways for coping with grief and leading a rewarding life after tragedy.
Cleary Waldo ’19 compared the 1967 Newark, New Jersey, riots to modern ones protesting police brutality. Her eye-opening talk also addressed the topic of racial prejudice in American society.
Olivia Kreider ’21 gave a personal talk about panic disorder as a way to raise awareness of the prevalent psychological condition. She shared her own experience with the disorder while describing its general symptoms and neurological causes. She also provided appropriate responses for bystanders to use when someone is enduring a panic attack.
Abby Morris ’20 and Madina Shabazz ’20, members of Blair’s student research fellowship analyzing adolescent e-cigarette use, provided insight on the use of the relatively new and controversial product that has become a nationwide trend among teenagers. The two-person talk addressed multiple aspects of the topic, including health risks, government policies, and product marketing strategies. By sharing their research and clarifying common misconceptions, Abby and Madina aimed to raise awareness among their peers of the potential dangers of e-cigarettes.
Blair Academy students had the opportunity to support their peers by attending the conference as audience members. A bus escorted over twenty Blair students to Bernardsville for the day-long event. This year’s TEDx Conference was an enlightening experience for both its presenters and audience members.
(Copyright 2019 Abby Morris)