x = independently organized TED event

Theme: What if?

This event occurred on
March 23, 2018
Charlotte, North Carolina
United States

When we are young, we ask a lot of what-ifs. However, things begin to change as we grow up. We want to encourage inquisitive thinking and creativity by prompting individuals to share their ideas and discuss with one another. What if you did something new to improve our society? What if you invented something so creative it changed the world? What if you started a movement that changed perspectives locally, or even worldwide?

East Mecklenburg High School
6800 Monroe Road
Charlotte, North Carolina, 28212
United States
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­East­Mecklenburg­High­School events


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

Amy Castle

English Teacher
Amy Castle is an English II teacher at East Mecklenburg High School. She is originally from Columbus, Ohio. She is the assistant softball coach for the East Meck team. She loves to read and anything related to sports. Her TEDx talk takes a fresh look on how to approach life even with uncertainty and hardships.

Gabrielle Sophia

Student Musician
Gabrielle Sophia is a 17 year old folk singer-songwriter, based in Charlotte North Carolina. She plays guitar, and loves to write songs. She is influenced by musicians such as Norah Jones, and Margaret Glaspy. She has played at The Double Door Inn, Midwood Guitar Studio, Festival in the Park, and Summit Coffee. She recently won the Queen City Awards Youth Artist of the year and is working on an EP.

Iman von Briesen

Iman von Briesen is a senior in the IB program at East Mecklenburg High School. She is very academically focused but when not at school, you can find her at AerialCLT learning aerial hoop, uptown at Studio 345 screen printing, or even by the airport building robots with her FIRST robotics team. Last year, she spoke about her experiences as a girl pursuing engineering. Iman continues to learn and grow as a feminist and global citizen. As the co-captain of her robotics team, a drum major of the school marching band, and co-president of the school quiz bowl team, Iman is a proven leader who pursues a career in engineering, with the ultimate goal of researching and creating life saving medical devices. She has no idea how the future will play out, but she knows that she will make the most of every day and will always try to be a better version of herself.

Maya Gavia

Maya Gavia is a sophomore at East Mecklenburg High School. This will be her first time hosting a TEDx event. She enjoys public speaking and leading. Maya is the current 2020 class president and co president of Global Team Coalition at East Mecklenburg High School. She is dedicated to helping out in the community; she works closely with the local community organization MoRA. Maya can not wait to be apart of the TEDx team at East Mecklenburg High School and share the experiences with the crowd.

Miracle Okoro

Miracle Okoro came to America on February 8, 2004. She has four siblings, as well as a pink bear she has had since her first Valentine’s Day in the United States. Her favorite color is red, and she aspires to be freelance journalist.

Morgan Opela

Morgan Opela is a senior in the IB program at East Mecklenburg High School. Her two top priorities are being a successful student and giving back to the world. In her spare time, she competes with a local math club, is an active member of the East Meck band, and tutors anybody who will let her.

Sara Holley

Sara Holley graduated from East Meck in the spring of 2017. She is currently a first-year Morehead-Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sara's interest in TED/TEDx is longstanding: She founded TEDxEastMecklenburgHighSchool in 2015 and led the organizing team for two academic years. She now serves as a member of the Speakers Committee for TEDxUNC. Having practiced Taekwondo for nearly a decade, Sara credits martial arts as an important part of her personal development. She has taught, competed, and--more recently--performed with the Carolina Taekwondo Demonstration Team. Sara's interests include entrepreneurship, fashion, and educational equity/policy. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, riding roller coasters/thrill rides, and traveling.

Todd Statome

Philosophy + TOK Teacher
Todd Statome has been teaching for 20 years. He didn't always think about teaching, but he found his calling the first day of student teaching when he just took over the class for his supervising teacher, and he hasn't looked back since. He believes that being a Philosophy teacher is a blessing, because he can go beyond the normality of the everyday experience, and breach deep into the ontological view of what makes us human. This allows students to view the human experience from unique perspectives and why we exist in a different light.

Trey Gadson

Trekahry Gadson is a junior at East Mecklenburg High School. He is a 16 year old Black male who was born in Charlotte but spent a lot of his early life in Florida. The biggest parts of his life are playing Rugby for East Meck and his job where he gets to help kids with their homework. His goals for the future are to graduate from Harvard University and spark further conversations about issues that don't gain nearly as much recognition as they deserve. As an adult, he wants to help the next generation of Black kids become the educated Black men he knows they can be.

Vermillion (Band)

Student Musicians
Vermillion is a new, NC based band composed of singer-songwriter, Māya Atkins, guitarist Charlotte O'Boyle, and drummer, Chase Riddell. The band members attend East Mecklenburg High, Chase and Māya as seniors, Charlotte, as a junior. The band's sound blends elements of punk, rock, jazz, blues and more. Vermillion has made appearances in Charlotte, performing at venues such as the Neighborhood Theatre, Sugar Creek Brewery and Lunchbox Records.

Vivian Nguyen

Vivian Nguyen is currently an IB Senior at East Mecklenburg High School. This TEDx event will be the second time she will be publicly hosting. Vivian is fluent in 3 languages: Vietnamese, English and American Sign Language. She hopes to learn more languages in the future to connect with the world!

Yarisvet Estevez

Yari Estevez is a 17 year old Junior at East Meck High School. She is a Hispanic and a female. She wants girls to feel appreciated and feel that they are beautiful. She has struggled with self-confidence, and she admits it takes time and encouragement to try and feel better about yourself. She wants to give encouragement to help people who are also struggling with insecurities issues. She thinks that as a community we can help each other and make everyone feel worthy.

Organizing team


Charlotte, NC, United States


28205, NC, United States
  • Abigail Ramos Leon
  • Anaya Truss-Williams
  • Brennan Stone
    Post production
  • Dahlia Danet
  • Emma Powell
  • Juliet Burton
  • Kaylee Schwanke
  • Kaylyn Ngo
  • Kevin Bui
  • Neel Gajjar
  • Ruth Berhana
  • Tvisha Patel