Andrew Mancini found his passion for the creative arts after a knee injury ended his sports-career in high school. After discovering this passion he attended Valparaiso University where he studied Business and Theater.
Outside of academics at Valparaiso, he embraced the passion he'd found for storytelling and fell in love with improv-comedy as an art. Andrew finally made it into the campus-improv troupe after his 3rd audition and was elected producer of the group for his senior year. During his senior year he also had the opportunity to pick, design, cast, and direct a show.
Damon grew up and attended school in Gary, Indiana until his family moved to Hobart. In Gary, I was told by my teachers that I would never escape the poverty of the area and that I was the bottom of the barrel at any other school I would attend. When I moved to Hobart, this is what I was expecting to happen. In truth, my education has flourished under the supervision of Hobart’s teachers. I became interested in the brain when my brother was diagnosed with autism, and it’s been a passion I’ve pursued ever since.
James has over 20 years’ experience in coaching others to maximize their opportunities. He received his bachelor's degree in aeronautic technology and his master of public administration from Indiana State University (Terre Haute, Indiana). James has led teams in the financial services and proprietary education industries.In 2014, James founded DASHMASTERS, a professional development company that provides clients the tools and insights to grow through every season of their lives. Services include group facilitation and one-on-one coaching. The mission at DASHMASTERS is simple: We Make Business Better by Making People our Business. James' priorities are God, family, and making a difference.
Melynie was born and raised in Highland, Indiana until 2005, when her family moved to Hobart. She was six-years-old. Melynie progressed through Hobart's educational system fairly normally, save for the fact that she always had trouble in school - not trouble learning, but trouble doing and turning in work. She was not diagnosed with a mental illness until seventh grade, though there was suspicion of something amiss as early as first or second grade. Melynie's experiences are vast and varied, though she hopes not to be viewed as just another "story".
Nathaniel A. Turner was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. Despite graduating in the bottom quarter of his high school class from one of the worst and most impoverished school systems in the country, Nate went on to earn several degrees. Nate holds a Bachelors (Accounting), a Masters (Theology & History), and a Juris Doctorate degree.
Nate is an entrepreneur and has operated a financial services practice for two decades. Not withstanding his professional accomplishments, Nate's greatest passion is helping children realize what he rarely experienced growing up in Gary: feeling valued as a human being and knowing his life had a purpose.Today, Nate's counsel and advice are included on his blog "The Raising Supaman Project", his radio show "The Road Less Traveled", and in his books "Raising Supaman" and "Stop The Bus". Nate encourages parents, guardians, and the community to raise children to become great world citizens and he challenges us all to maximize our abilities to their fullest potential. Nate also speaks nationally and contributes to other nationally recognized blogs, publications, and radio programs.Nate believes each day is another opportunity to share valuable experiences, tools, methods, and resources with those charged with preparing the sons and daughters of our Nation. Nate considers it a calling to make certain that OUR future is ready for this awesome journey called life.
Sara McInerney is thrilled to be returning to the TEDx Stage for the second time. She is passionate about encouraging others to chase their dreams - regardless of obstacles encountered along the way. Sara is also thrilled to be returning to the region as she is a Griffith High School graduate. After graduating in 2010, she went on to complete her bachelor's at Ball State and currently serves as the Community Engagement Specialist at the Finish Line Youth Foundation at the company's headquarters in Indianapolis.