x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Pathways

This event occurred on
March 16, 2014
2:00pm - 5:00pm PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
Thousand Oaks, CA
United States

An event planned by and made for students. The theme is Pathways, and our speakers are going to discuss their own personal pathways that brought them to where they are today. Each and every one of them is a vibrant student with a story to tell, or something amazing to share.

Performing Arts Center
Thousand Oaks High School
2323 North Moorpark Road
Thousand Oaks, CA, 91360
United States
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Youth@­Conejo events


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

Jasmine Betka

Jasmine Betka has first hand experience on what it is like to be on one path and then thrown onto another. When she was 15 a patio structure fell on her and crushed seven vertebrae in her back, caused three brain injuries, and left her battling for recovery everyday. In her journey, she found that it was less about the path she was on and more about how she chose to travel it. Disabilities is often used with such a negative connotation but her goal is to show that abilities easily out way disabilities. Although we might see someone as different than us, they may be more alike the we think, they might just be traveling their path a different way.

Eva Pino

Eva Pino is a senior at Westlake High School. She is a varsity swimmer, a bass clarinetist in the Westlake High School Wind Ensemble, and dislikes talking about herself in third person. Her topic is how assumptions alter people's view of success. Eva's older sister Maria Isabel Pino, who has Down syndrome, is one of the most successful persons she knows. If you have a developmental disability, people don't expect success. But Isabel is on a cheerleading squad, competes in a statewide equestrian event, has won a gold and silver medal in Special Olympics, and has been featured in a TV show. Having a disability is a struggle, but it does not block Isabel from thriving. Her path may be more difficult than others, but it still leads to success.

Sabrina Thai

Sabrina's talk breaks the theme "pathways" into three different sections: personal adventure, tomorrow is happening, and where are you? Sabrina is involved in the Speech and Debate team at her high school, which has encouraged her to pursue public speaking. Sabrina is eager to forge her own pathway as she plans her future. Whatever she chooses, she knows it will include spending time with those she cares about.

Allen Chen

Driven to change the way society view's education, Allen Chen is a concerned senior at Westlake High School who has begun questioning how our current education system is run. Allen Chen's talk will be shedding light upon the perils of education, society's pathway to success. He will be talking about the underrepresented "average" student and the increased pressure students feel to become high achievers in their schools.

Kevin Ye

Kevin is a senior at Westlake High School. He is the founder and president of the Westlake Computer Science Club, a starter on the varsity volleyball team and concertmaster of the Westlake Chamber Orchestra. He aspires to study computer science in college. In his spare time, Kevin serves as a coach for the middle school girls’ volleyball league at the Thousand Oaks Teen Center and a volunteer instructor teaching Scratch programming and Arduino robotics for the GATE program at Lang Ranch Elementary School. Through these activities, Kevin has discovered the pleasure of sharing his passions with a younger generation. In his speech, Kevin will talk about his experiences founding CS Club and establishing the programming class at his former school. He feels that there is a significant demand for extracurricular enrichment at elementary schools and hopes to inspire others to take initiative and share their passions with the community. He believes that in our passions lie the potential to forge pathways to others.

Annie Gersh

Annie Gersh, a 15 year-old student at Marlborough school, is an avid debater, feminist, and advocate for girls around the world. After hearing Queen Rania of Jordan speak about the issues face girls in developing countries, she started one of the first clubs for a United Nations Foundation campaign called Girl UP. Girl Up is a grassroots campaign that trains youth in the US to be leaders for girls in the developing world. Her club is now one of over 300 clubs in the US and 40 other countries. She served as a Teen Advisor, Co-Chaired the teen advisor board and currently leads and advises the coalitions of clubs around the country. She recently had the chance to be one of two of the first teens to join a United Nation Foundation observation trip to Guatemala. Annie will speak about how Girl Up gives girls the tools to their pathway to success and when they prosper, they are then their community’s pathways to success. Additionally, she will talk about how youth in the audience can get involved in causes like Girl Up. Girl Up gives students in the US a pathway to leadership opportunities and their leadership can equip girls in the developing world with their pathway to achieving their dreams.

Dennis Yeh

Dennis Yeh is a Senior at Newbury Park High School. Hearing him every morning on the morning announcements, few people ever guess that he has a stutter. In elementary school, he would often get pulled out of class for speech therapy. In middle school, he struggled to get included in conversations. In high school, however, he is on the Mock Trial team and leads the Panther Pit Student Section. The pathway he took to where he is now is not traveled enough. Often times people with stutters are made into math/science geeks, predestined for a desk job. Dennis wants to raise awareness the pathway he took is doable. He wants others like him to take a route and be able to public speak. The most gratifying memory he has had is the expression of surprise when he first tells others of his stutter. He hopes others can experience it too.

Kameron Butler

Kameron Butler is an ambitious and creative student who has a passion for entrepreneurship. He started his own company (SwipeID) through the Junior Achievement program at Westlake High School. Swipe ID is a unique incentive rewards program designed to re-energize student engagement in the classroom and boost attendance at school events. Simply by scanning their student ID barcode upon entering an event or displaying academic achievement, students receive points that can be exchanged for various rewards and prizes. As a result of this successful business, he has been exposed to the business world through extensive networking opportunities. His topic will be focused on the importance of networking and the "pathways" that communication can establish for one's future. Networking has become a vital part of his business, which is currently in full operation with WHS. He has spoken with congressmen and women in the nation's capital, presented his idea before panels of business professionals, and even been invited to several community events to share his story. He is humbled by his opportunities and looks forward to speak as an inspiration for the ambition of his peers.

Siena Heintz

Three teen sisters from Southern California describe the year and a half of their childhood when they lived in Mophela, Ilanga, South Africa, and the trio performs a song as the group Rare Vision - a name inspired by their adventures. These three sisters moved to an orphanage in South Africa when they were 8, 9 and 10 years old. This experience shaped their worldview and molded them into the teenagers they are today and the women they will become. After helping there for a year and a half, they moved back and have helped transform the people in their own community. Currently, they volunteer on Skid Row in Los Angeles and play weekly in a band at their church.

Courtney Brousseau

Reforming public education in this country will require a complex and comprehensive plan but, in the end, we are never going to have schools that produce great students without great teachers. Unfortunately, the current permanent status (teacher tenure) system makes it easy for teachers to get tenure and hard to fire them once they have it. In order to get students involved in reforming this system that affects them every day, Students Transforming Education is spreading awareness and collecting 10,000 student signatures in favor of reforming teacher tenure.

Cassiel McEvoy

Teachers, adults, and people may underestimate your abilities. The answer is to believe in yourself and show them that, yes, you can! Cassiel performs Scherzo-Tarentelle Op. 16 by Henri Wieniawski on her violin. Cassiel began playing the violin at age four in Tenafly, New Jersey. She studied in New York City and participated in master classes with the likes of Cho Liang Lin and Elmar Oliveira. In 2011, her family moved across the United States to Thousand Oaks, California where she is now a Thousand Oaks High School sophomore. Cassiel plays in the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra and studies with Henri Gronnier at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Cassiel loves to run cross country and track at her high school.

Jessica Han

Jessica Han will tell how her personal experience as a speaker opened her view of what a journey truly is. She will pull together the past, present, and future of any step of a journey and bring to light how our lives truly change as we make our way along our pathways.

Kaitlin Hung

Kaitlin Hung's improvised dance demonstrates the path unknown and unexpected. Dancers often face unforeseen pathways during competitions, and it is a true test of a dancer's skill and musicality. It is here they must accumulate all their knowledge and apply it in their movement. No one knows what the dancer will do, and neither does the dancer. Kaitlin has thirteen years of classical ballet training from the Royal Academy of Dance and five years of additional training in pointe and jazz. She is a senior on the Thousand Oaks High School (Thousand Oaks, California, U.S.A.) Dance Team and trains twenty hours a week.

Organizing team


Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
  • Nick Colangelo
    Faculty Advisor
  • Sean Lam
    Thousand Oaks High School Student
  • Shai Goldberg
    Thousand Oaks High School Student
  • William Thomas
    Newbury Park High School Student
  • Sarah Lam
    Thousand Oaks High School Student
  • Caroline Paules
    Thousand Oaks High School Student
  • Jane Carlson
    Faculty Advisor
  • Shreya Chattopadhyay
    Newbury Park High School Student
  • Scottie Fred Wettstein
    Newbury Park High School Student
  • Kaitlin Hung
    Newbury Park High School
  • Lauren Chin
    Westlake High School Student
  • Camille Danielsen
    Westlake High School Student
  • Ben Tran
    Westlake High School Student