x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Press Start

This event occurred on
March 15, 2018
Lake Forest, Illinois
United States

TEDxLFHS is a TEDxYouth event designed to highlight LFHS students, community members and innovative thinkers that have ideas worth spreading. The event combines live talks, entertainment, and opportunities to engage and demo emerging technologies in our Innovation Lab. Our 2018 theme is “Press Start," and the event places a strong emphasis on community building and empowering young people in Lake Forest, area schools, and around the world.

Lake Forest High School
1285 North McKinley Road
Lake Forest, Illinois, 60045
United States
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Aiden Kinsella

Aiden loves comedy, people, and talking. He plays board games and video games on occasion. He writes satire and poetry. He enjoys musicals and also regular human music. He wants to be a kid when he grows up, and like most Homo sapiens, he has teeth. Aiden hopes you enjoy his talk, if you get to see it, and that you have a lovely day regardless of whether or not you see it. Those are some facts.

Ali Jackson

Ali Jackson is a senior at Lake Forest High School. She is a compassionate person who truly cares about others and the world around her. In her free-time she works on her original music and practices for her next “gig.” With a high schooler's busy schedule, it’s often hard to find time to enjoy the little things. That’s why she makes it a point to take her dog to the dog park every week, rain or shine! She hopes to inspire her fellow students to make small changes in their lives that will help better the environment.

Charlotte Moore

For as long as she could remember, Charlotte has always loved animals of all kinds. Her love for sea animals led her to a job at the Shedd Aquarium, where she interpreted alongside other teens. At school, Charlotte’s love for the natural world is prevalent due to her earth science-heavy coursework as well as her extracurriculars. She is part of the Vet Mentoring Program at the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society and participates in Environmental Club at school. She loves to share her knowledge and passion about animals with just about anybody who will listen.

Clara Finley

Clara Finley is a senior at Lake Forest High School and will be attending the College of William & Mary in the fall, majoring in English and Secondary Education. She has been dancing since she was two, and writing since she could hold a pencil. She loves good books and sitcoms. At any given point, you can probably find her at Hansa Coffee Roasters in Lake Bluff, where she will be taking notes and laughing with friends. She is eternally grateful for the support team that is her family and friends and has been blessed with many amazing teachers at LFHS.

Cristana Machado

Cristina Machado is an ordinary Lake Forest High School student with an extraordinary passion for the environment. She is very involved in multiple clubs, including Student to Student, Big to Little, TEDx and Enviro Club. She is also an avid member of the Cross Country team and plays on the lacrosse team. Throughout her high school experience, she has learned the importance of speaking up for what she believes in and plans to do just that in her TEDx talk this Spring.

Dillon Hollingsworth

Dillon Hollingsworth is a freshman at Lake Forest High School who founded his gelato company in 2016 at the age of 13 while attending Deerpath Middle School. He came up with the idea in 2015 after becoming inspired by the gelato he had recently experienced while on a family trip to Italy. Dillon stared selling in local grocery stores in 2016. Today his gelato can be purchased at over a dozen stores in the North Shore and in Chicago. When he isn't selling gelato, he enjoys skiing and sailing.

Dr. Chala Holland

High School Principal
Dr. Chala Holland has worked in the educational field for over seventeen years. With a passion for students, teaching, and learning, she has served as a History and Social Science teacher and as a school administrator. Dr. Holland is currently the Principal at Lake Forest High School. Prior to LFHS, she worked at two large high schools where she led district-wide efforts focused on improving and enhancing student achievement outcomes for all students, faculty and staff professional development, and academic supports. Dr. Holland has led multiple districts in efforts to address disparities in achievement and has extensively examined the relationship between leadership, organizational change, and issues of equity. Dr. Holland has a BA from Northwestern University, an MA from DePaul University, and an EdD from University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Holland loves art, sports, and music and is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Policy Studies.

Dr. Matthew Dewar

Dr. Matthew Dewar is the founder of PROJECT 30K, an educational platform that utilizes wellness and mindfulness strategies to transform individuals and organizations. He is also a high school educator and well-being coordinator who has designed and implemented mindfulness-based stress reduction programs for students and faculty. He is the author of Education and Well-Being: An Ontological Inquiry.

Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is an environmentalist and outdoors enthusiast! When she isn’t learning about our impact on the planet, she enjoys spending time outside with friends. Emma’s passion lies with student leadership and student directed change. She is involved in Environmental Club, Model United Nations, Human Rights Club, and Orchestra! She also interns at the 10th Congressional District, where she has learned that youth initiative can be a powerful tool. She hopes you enjoy learning about the steps that need to be taken on a local level to reduce our carbon footprint and that you feel empowered to make those changes for yourself, and your community!

Kate Stephenson

Kate Stephenson is enthusiastic about the arts. In her free time, she enjoys writing music and making films. She has a passion for all things music-related and soundtracking films.

Katherine Cook

Katherine is a junior at LFHS. She can often be seen at various school clubs such as Environmental Club, Model UN, French Club, and TED Club or walking her dog around town on the weekends. Since she was very young she always enjoyed animals and their company. She has always found a special connection with them, and she appreciates the value they add to people's lives. That is why she hopes to one day work with animals to give them the unconditional love and care they give to us.

Kevin Bentley

Entrepreneur/Athlete/Motivational Speaker
Scholar. Pro athlete. Entrepreneur. Devoted husband and father. Kevin Bentley has excelled in every passion he has pursued. At Northwestern University, he was an Academic All Big-Ten and a finalist for the Butkus Award given to the nation’s top Linebacker. After earning his communications degree, he enjoyed a 10 year NFL career that culminated with an appearance in Super Bowl XL with the Seattle Seahawks. He later earned his MBA at Rice University, where he was named one of the nation’s 50 “Best & Brightest MBAs” by Poets&Quants. In 2017, he launched K2B Enterprises, an IT consultancy firm that is currently implementing a POS system for a national restaurant chain boasting 1,100 locations. In his spare time, he is an avid snowboarder coach. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and three daughters.

Mady Kung

Mady Kung is a senior at Lake Forest High School. She is passionate about public speaking, running, and meditating. This is her fourth year in a row giving a TEDxLFHS talk. One of her greatest fascinations is the relationship between biology and social behavior. In the midst of a current flu outbreak, Mady is excited to share how having the flu virus can make us unwittingly change the way we behave.

Megan Szostak

Megan Szostak is a senior at LFHS and will be attending Tufts University in Boston next fall. She is a violist in the LFHS Symphony Orchestra and in the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Symphony, and is extremely passionate about classical music and music history. She is hoping that, in sharing her enthusiasm for orchestral music on the TEDxLFHS stage, she can encourage more members of our society to explore and appreciate this captivating form of art.

Rafael Swerdlin

Rafael is a junior at LFHS who - in addition to a deeply rooted love and appreciation for indie musicians such as Mac Demarco and King Krule - is very interested in design. For that reason, he hopes to pursue a career in architecture in the future, but for now, he’ll enjoy the little time he has left of high school listening to Mac Demarco, making mediocre music, and trying to get into a good college.

Robert Hammond

Robert Hammond is currently a Junior at Lake Forest High School. He loves music and plays percussion in the concert and jazz bands. Being no stranger to the math department here at LFHS, Robert participates in the math team and takes various math classes that spark his interest, including multiple years of computer science and problem solving. He shares similar interest in the scientific world of physics and would like to share how these two subjects are much more than what they seem.

Sarah Larimer

Sarah is junior at Lake Forest High school who enjoys movies, making music and writing. She has a passion for learning that drives her variety of interests and activities which span from pottery classes to computer science. Sarah loves to ask questions and explore how the world works, and she is excited to have the opportunity to share her thoughts on how artificial intelligence will shape the workforce her generation will be a part of.

Theresa Kerouac

Theresa Kerouac is a senior at LFHS, preparing to attend the aviation flight and technology program at SIU next fall. During her four years, Tessa has been a part of the theatre technology program, Science Olympiad, robotics team, and ITS. In her free time she loves pursuing her love for photography, graphic design, learning sign language, aviation, wall-climbing, and advocating social equality. Through all of these hobbies, clubs, and activities, Tessa has always had one thing with her: her anxiety. She is so grateful to have the opportunity to share her story of OCD and the reason she counts her steps.

Organizing team


IL, United States


Lake Forest, IL, United States
  • Corey Holmer