x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Spark!

This event occurred on
November 17, 2013
1:00pm - 5:30pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Atlanta, GA
United States

In our 3rd year another group of young change makers from across Metropolitan Atlanta are reshaping their communities and sharing their journeys as agents of change. They will join previous TEDxYouth@TheBeltline Speakers as being loud voices for the positive future of our communities.

Georgia Pacific Center
133 Peachtree Street NE
1st Floor
Atlanta, GA, 30303
United States
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Youth@­The­Beltline events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Shaun Verma

Shaun, 18, of Milton, Ga., a senior at Milton High School, founded MDJunior, an organization that brings together medical professionals with middle and high school students in underserved communities to help inspire children. Shaun has raised more than $40,000 to support the organization, which today has 20 chapters in seven states, 114 mentors and nearly 600 participating students. Shaun has received many honors and awards including The President’s Volunteer Service Award (2012 Gold Award and 2011 Bronze Award); the Ben Carson Foundation National Legacy Scholar Award and the National Harris Wofford Youth Service Award.

Alexis Woodhouse

Alexis, 17, is a senior at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta. Her interest in math and science, robotics, and biological research led to the founding of Team Connect - a literacy program in partnership with Refugee Family Services (RFS) in Stone Mountain Georgia, targeted towards refugee middle school children who are behind in their reading comprehension, math, and science skills, all of which, she believes, are necessary to becoming a holistic learner. Through her work with RFS for three years, she has been able to meet many people, and inspire other young children to become interested in furthering their academic career.

Lily Sandler

When Lily was just 10 years old, she was having trouble finding her lip balm. She said, “Mom, where's my lip blam?” Lip BLAM? Brilliant. Lily's mom said that would make a great name for a lip balm company. BLAMtastic® was born. Lily, now 15, and her sister, Melanie (now 13), created their own personal care product line and started selling in the schoolyard. BLAMtastic® and Baby BLAMtastic® products are now sold in more than 3,000 stores nationwide and are exported to South Korea, Canada and New Zealand. In addition to being an entrepreneur, daughter, sister and student, Lily is a junior board member of Independent Youth, a non-profit with a focus on engaging youngsters in entrepreneurship. She also contributes to numerous entrepreneurial accelerators, including the Georgia State University MBA Program and has been invited to speak at the United Nations as a youth advocate.

Andrew Koonce

Andrew, 15, is a gifted classical violinist and a ninth grader at Woodward Academy in Atlanta. Andrew recently was named Concertmaster of the Georgia All State 6- 8th Grade Orchestra in Savannah, Georgia where he led the orchestra in concerts. In addition, Andrew has been accepted into the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and has been the Principal Second and then Assistant Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has also won the Festival Disney Best Concert Artist Award.


In January of 1995, YouthPride's founders recognized the growing number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) young people seeking support in Atlanta's mental health system. The need for a safe, supportive environment in all institutions serving youth was clear. YouthPride provides a safe, comfortable space where youth can conduct support and discussion groups, plan youth-led workshops, utilize library and computer resources, attend social gatherings, or explore educational and career opportunities. YouthPride remains metro Atlanta's only LGBTQQ organization dedicated solely to the needs and interests of youth.

Eduardo Samaniego-FreedomU

Founded in 2011, Freedom University provides college-level instruction to all academically qualified students regardless of their immigration status. The faculty are committed to providing college courses equivalent to those taught at the state’s most selective universities. We believe that all Georgians have an equal right to a quality education. Separate and unequal access to higher education contravenes this country’s most cherished principles of equality and justice for all.

Evan Barnard

Evan Barnard, age 15, is a sophomore at Johns Creek High School. Working with the Georgia Council of the Blind, Evan learned that adding Braille features to existing nature trails improves the accessibility of these trails so that visually impaired people can have an opportunity to experience and learn about nature. Awarded a grant from Disney Friends for Change, Evan led a group of students from his high school as part of Global Youth Service Day to design and build a Braille nature trail at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. His goal is to build these trails in communities all over Georgia and eventually the U.S. to bring nature experiences to the visually impaired and raise awareness of the need to provide increased access to the outdoors to those with disabilities.

Octavia Fugerson

Octavia is an Atlanta native and Spelman College graduate. She is currently working on her Master's of Education in the Gifted and Creative Education Program of the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Georgia. At the age of 14, Octavia was placed in foster care. Passion, ambition, resiliency, support from a great foster mom and community organizations, changed her life. Octavia takes great pride in advocating nationally for the improvement of the foster care system and working towards improving outcomes for youth with behavioral problems.

Julia Abelsky

Julia, 18, an Atlanta native, is a freshman at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She believes in the power of science to ignite a spark of imagination to make the invisible - visible and the imaginary - real. She will be talking about her research focusing on achieving invisibility. Her research received multiple national and international awards; she is a BioGENEius National Winner, Intel ISEF Second Place Winner, and I-SWEEEP Gold Medal Winner. Julia is successful not only at the lab but also as a nationally ranked fencer, she is a member of Northwestern’s Division I fencing team.

Tiffani Alexander

Tiffani, 15, is a National Youth Advisory Council member with the non-profit organization, GenerationOn. She is the founder of Butterflies, Beetles and Bees, Oh My!, a bug club she runs in partnership with the Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale program. The program teaches children about how to care for and nurture small insects and how those skills can also be used to interact with other human beings. Tiffani is also the founder of a leadership team called "Mark it Up.” The purpose of the team is to engage more youth in service. In addition, she is a member of the Rockdale County 4-H club and serves as its County Council President. Tiffani is a recipient of The President's Volunteer Service Award and was also selected as one of the 2013 11 Alive - WXIA KIDS WHO CARE winners.

Shift Racing, Ltd.

Shift Racing is a racing design team of four young women: Kelly, Anna, Claire and Sabine, from Marietta, Georgia. Three years ago Shift began participating in F1 in Schools, an international competition for school children (aged 9–19), in which groups of 3 - 6 students have to design and manufacture a miniature "car" out of balsa wood using CAD/CAM design tools and powered by CO2 cartridges. Shift has won several awards and recognitions including: 2012 U.S. Nationals - Fastest Car Team Winner: Best Engineered Car - Team Winner; USA Senior Champions 2012 - Team Winner; and International Competition (Dubai, UAE) - Outstanding Sportsmanship, 8th in the World; and the 4th Fastest Car in the World.

Organizing team


Atlanta, GA, United States
  • William Teasley
  • Tiffinay Rivers
    Team Dynamite/Production Coordinator
  • Chandra Farley
    Facilities Coordinator
  • Allison Gars
    Speaker Coordinator
  • Erica Jong
    Logistics Coordinator
  • Staci Phillips
    Social Media
  • Malcolm Barnard
    Team Dynamite
  • Raina Gars
    Team Dynamite
  • Kalyann Teasley
    Team Dynamite
  • Jackson Teasley
    Team Dynamite
  • Terrell Lopez
    Team Dynamite
  • Thaddeus Roberts
    Video Production