Including teens in conversations about real world issues is the key element that will set Kansas City’s TEDxYouth@KC apart from other TED-branded conferences, said Kyra Colbert.
“We’re going to be the future and if we don’t get involved now and we don’t get informed about what’s going on, how are we going to know what to do when it’s time for us to take on and pursue the problem or tackle the problem?” Colbert, an Allen Village High School senior and the event’s emcee, said ahead of Saturday’s conference.
Teen “scene makers” will be center stage during the day long event at Plexpod Westport Commons, including: Adam Avin, “Make Today Count”; Brandy Bonner, “Out of Darkness”; Milan Mastin, “Pink”; Rachel Ignotofsky, “The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth”; and Victor Le’Yon, “Magic.”
Click here to get tickets to TEDxYouth@KC
Update: TEDxYouth@KC was officially sold out by 8:30 a.m. Saturday, hours before the event, Colbert posted on Facebook.
“It’s definitely a positive thing to know that we can also have events like adults … and have leadership roles as well. Being included in conversations that have to do with us,” Colbert said excited to be part of the event that she believes will greatly impact Kansas Citians of all ages.
Elected to emcee the event by her peers on the TEDxYouth@KC planning team, Colbert said her interest in Kansas City’s entrepreneur space — with experience as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s student board of directors and as a volunteer for the Kansas City Startup Foundation — has helped prepare her for her first public speaking role, coupled with her exposure to the outside-the-box thinking that runs within the same circle, she added.
“I feel that people should be [made] aware that there are also many [youth] leaders and not just a few — there are a lot! But some of them may just be hidden or don’t know how to be introduced into the entrepreneurial [community],” Colbert said.
An introduction to youth leaders is but one experience Colbert hopes TEDxYouth@KC attendees take away from the event, she said.
“We have an 18-year-old who’s talking about positivity and youth and mindfulness. And we have two poets who are talking about why they got into poetry and what it means to their life and their life story,” she said in example of ways she believes the greater Kansas City community can come to understand the influences in teens lives — bridging gaps and creating opportunity for assimilation.
“One piece of advice I’ve gotten is to kind of feel that you’re talking to someone that you’re always comfortable with and that you’re always around,” she said. “When I’m talking to the audience this weekend, I’ll be picturing my mom.”
Colbert hopes the community can engage with teens in a similarly candid way well beyond TEDxYouth@KC, she said.