x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Fixing The World

This event occurred on
September 7, 2019
Farmingdale, New York
United States

The world is problematic, but that doesn't mean that it can't be fixed. We're offering ideas for unconventional solutions to the world's biggest conventional problems.Whether the problems are physical or personal in nature, our speakers will cross the line that others are not willing to cross: the thin line between thinking and doing.

Farmingdale High School
150 Lincoln Street
Farmingdale, New York, 11735
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alexander Huang

Alexander Huang and Celeste Huang are a brother and sister team of journalists raising awareness of the global refugee crisis. They have documented refugee camps and displaced people in Greece and Mexico and are key members of a major global portrait project called “The Power of Faces” that seeks to humanize the is crisis, which the United Nations calls “the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time.” Celeste and Alexander have documented refugee boat landings in Greece as well as nighttime ocean patrols with the Greek Coast Guard. They have interviewed displaced individuals in camps in Athens and Chios, Greece and most recently were in Tijuana, Mexico documenting the plight of individuals in the so-called “Migrant Caravan.” Alexander and Celeste’s work has been exhibited at Amnesty International, The Middle East Institute, numerous colleges and high schools, and other institutions. Their photographs related to the refugee crisis have appeared in several magazines and online media. Alexander is a Junior at The Pennington School in Pennington, NJ. Celeste is a Sophomore at The George School in Newtown, PA.

Allison Fasano

Allison Fasano was born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She knew at the age of 11 years old that she wanted to become a Chef after watching the Food Network for the first time. She began following and cooking alongside her father who inspired her passion for Italian cuisine. Following her passion she studied culinary arts abroad in Calabria, Italy were she specialized in regional Italian cuisine. As a Chef, Allison loves bold, layers of flavor food that tells a story, or what she likes to call “Nonna Style” food that gives you a hug on the inside. Her passion and her dynamic personality landed her at the most exciting culinary scenes in NYC. She spent over 14 years working in Michelin star restaurants including The Sagamore Resort, Lidia, and Joe Bastianich’s Del Posto. Most recently she spent time at Gato with Bobby Flay’s team as a Sous Chef. In 2017 she joined Urbani Truffle as one of their resident Chefs. Allison has appeared on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay,” “Chopped,” Fios’ “Restaurant Hunters,” and “Newsday FeedMe TV.” Allison became the Executive Chef at Harleys American Grille located in Farmingdale, NY, Long Island where she received a rare 3 stars and the restaurant was named one of the top 5 restaurants to try on Long Island in 2019. Allison’s motto in life is “ food and laughter is what I’m after,” She says that growing up she always wanted to be a comedian and now she cooks and tells jokes for free.

Carlos Collado

Carlos Collado is a young Hispanic born in Miami who has become a big believer in intuition. Despite still working a full-time job at the Arlo Nomad Hotel, married, and recently becoming a brand new father, Carlos has built an incredible interview show called “On The Road To Success” which is available on YouTube and other social platforms. He has interviewed and worked with some very high performing entrepreneurs, TEDx Speakers, and best selling authors like: David Meltzer CEO of Sports 1 Marketing, Vicente Fox former President Of Mexico, and Greg S. Reid best selling author, top ten speaker on Forbes, and movie producer. He is also an avid reader in the personal development genre and has read over 100 books. Carlos has most recently made his health a priority almost 50 pounds recently, while continuing his mission to spread his thought leadership on intuition and its importance in your daily decision making.

Corey James

Corey D. James is the founder and CEO of Painting Pictures Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to making an impact in the lives of disadvantaged youth. Corey has devoted his life and career to directly serving at-risk youth in urban communities as a youth mentor, group facilitator, and motivational speaker. Corey has confronted the challenges affecting youth in urban communities through his service on national initiatives, such as Weed and Seed (a community-based program whose goal is to prevent, control and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity), My Brother’s Keeper (a national program that strives to build safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color), and National Night Outs (a community-building campaign that promotes police- community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer and more caring places to live). Additionally, Corey has served as an advocate for adjudicated youth to reduce delinquency charges, recidivism and divert youth from entering detention centers. Corey D. James has traveled the country presenting a powerful message of hope and empowerment that has resonated with inner-city communities and disadvantaged youth. James’ audacious determination to support at-risk youth and lend his unwavering voice to adolescence in urban communities has opened many opportunities to engage with youth and youth professionals. As an advocate for building better communities through mentorship, James’ doctrine of unconditional support and encouragement has garnered him attention and praise, not just from the young men and women he has inspired, but also from noted scholars and community organizers. James has been described as having an “unconditional commitment to serving youth.” In 2016, Corey published Painting Pictures: Reframing the World of Inner-City Youth, a book that illustrates the compassionate and redemptive power of mentoring. Corey strives to expose marginalized youth to new experiences and resources not readily available to them in their communities. Corey has provided disadvantaged youth with opportunities such as college visits, broadway plays, outdoor camping, visits to national monuments, and travel to Arizona’s Grand Canyon. He strives to provide the opportunity for international travel to South Africa in 2020. Corey’s strategy of exposure is in an effort to show disadvantaged youth that they truly do have options, and they can break the cycle of negative images that surround them and “Paint Pictures” that include a quality education, a healthy lifestyle, and a bright future. James continues to deliver his message with charisma, passion, and determination at keynote addresses, school assemblies, and workshops. He has also been featured on numerous morning news shows and radio stations: The Maggie Linton Show on Sirius XM, CBS 6 Virginia, Boston NBC, Boston ABC, CBS Houston, Memphis CBS. Corey James has also been featured favorably in Union County N.J.’s local news, Rutgers University Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, and Youth Today.

Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson is an educator, innovator, and advocate in the Autism field for over 10 years. As Director of Workforce Development at Spectrum Designs Foundation, Dave has gained unique insight into just how valuable (yet undervalued) and deserving (yet under-served) the neurodiverse community is. He has an insatiable desire to see the world around him continue to evolve through employment opportunities, access to services, assistive technologies, and a more inclusive collective attitude toward people labeled ‘different.’

Dylan Gafarian

Dylan Gafarian is one of the Academic Counselors for the extremely prestigious Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) Program at Farmingdale State College. This elite program is dedicated to provide extra benefits and rewards that enhance the learning experience not readily available to other Farmingdale students. Prior to Farmingdale, Dylan worked in the Office of Admissions at Stony Brook University as a New York State Admissions Counselor. There, Dylan sought to make the college application process exciting, fun, and attainable for all. During his time as an Admissions Counselor, he traveled throughout New York State bringing the next wave of young, bright leaders to Long Island. While pursuing his first graduate degree, Dylan dove deep into the research of the lasting effects of student success in relation to a students involvement, leadership, and creativity. Leadership and creativity are among many of Dylan’s favorite topics to discuss with students. In the last 5 years, Dylan has traveled to colleges and high schools and local businesses throughout the Long Island area sharing the benefits of creative thinking, creative problem-solving, and leadership development. Now, holding a second graduate degree from the Buffalo State College’s International Center for Studies in Creativity, Dylan is dedicated to enhancing the world with creative thinking and enhanced problem-solving techniques. Dylan was recently named one of Long Island’s 30 Under 30 by the Young Professionals of Long Island.

Elise Atkins-Louis

Elise Atkins is a 17-year-old Senior at Farmingdale High School. Originally from Boston, Elise moved to Farmingdale Long Island in 2016. Growing up in a family of activists, Elise quickly developed a passion for politics and civics. Putting integrity and empathy at the forefront, she became an active member of the community service organization, Key Club and her highschools R.E.A.L Harmony club, a club aimed at multicultural celebration and assessment of cultural issues present in society. Elise intends to continue to pursue social and political science to foster change in society and the environment, improving the world and the people in it.

Estela Lugo

Estela Lugo was born and raised on Long Island, NY by “the world’s most amazing Puerto Rican parents,” Miguel & Eneida. They believe salsa dancing and gardening are the key to never growing old. Her younger sister, Melissa is usually mistaken as a twin because of their shared laugh and wardrobe. They also share the same progressive disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth; a condition that atrophies the muscles in the feet, legs, and hands. Growing up, Estela was surrounded by community service and could be found most times with crayons and notebooks in hand. After four happy and art-filled years at Farmingdale High School, followed by another four at F.I.T., Estela pursued a career in design and is now combining her creative energy with a passion for the non-profit world. Her children Bella and Devin, along with her partner Jason, keep her laughing and make sure she doesn’t take herself or life too seriously.

James Hughes

James Hughes was born in Brooklyn and his family eventually moved upstate to Walden NY. He was the youngest of five children. Along with his mother, he and his brother are totally blind while two other siblings are legally blind. James got married to his wife Diana and started a family of his own in 2004. James and Diana share three children, Sara, Joseph, and Emily. James attended Binghamton University from 1986-190 for his bachelors in History and 1990-1992 for his Masters in History and Education. He began his teaching career at Farmingdale High School in 1992 and has taught all levels of US History, Government Economics, and Mock Trial. Along with teaching, he is involved with extracurricular activities such as Ethics Bowl, Model UN, and Peer Mediation and has served as a union representative or officer for the past 19 years. Experience and a desire for a new challenge has guided him toward public speaking and he has begun to keynote with his G.A.M.E.R. mindset and the central focus of his talks.

Jennifer DeHayes

For over seven years, Jennifer DeHayes, E.D. has been the Assistant Principal of Woodward Parkway Elementary School in Farmingdale, NY, a K-5 primary institution with over 800 students. Working closely with her teaching staff, Jennifer successfully implemented a creative planning and communication strategy that resulted in increased reading levels throughout the entire school. Prior to becoming Assistant Principal, Dr. DeHayes was an elementary school teacher for 11 years in various grades, and a reading teacher for four years. She holds a Doctoral Degree from St. John’s University, NY, in the area of Education Administration & Leadership, and a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership, with a major in School District Leadership/School Building Leadership from Stony Brook University, NY. Jennifer earned her Master’s Degree in Reading from Long Island University, Brookville, NY, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in the area of Elementary Education & Special Education from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, NY. She lives in Port Jefferson, Long Island and enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her family, husband Robert, and children Ethan and Ella. They are her world! Her favorite place to be is on the beach with her toes in the sand. Dr. DeHayes lives by the words of Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Josh Mirsky

Josh Mirsky is an advocate, thinker, and change maker in the Autism community. Diagnosed with Autism at 13, Josh has overcome misdiagnoses, bullying, lack of proper services, unemployment, and relationship struggles and has emerged as a strong, vocal young man. Josh is a Lead Production Assistant at Spectrum Designs Foundation, a self-taught artist, and has a passion for airplanes and world history. His overall goal is to spread awareness and understanding of Autism, and to lend a hand to those affected and their families at any chance he gets.

Keiya Rayne

Discovering her intuitive gifts in childhood, Keiya Rayne began offering profound insight and advice to others at an early age, and later professionally as the Soul Mate Coach, when she helped people attract their ideal partners and heal their relationships. Today, Keiya is a Life Transformation Expert, Speaker and Intuitive Healer, and has, for over a decade, specialized in helping clients release emotional and mental blocks, freeing them to leverage and direct their energy towards finding the inner-fulfillment, success and joy they so deeply crave in all areas of their lives. Keiya’s approach to transformation is revolutionary, and based on trusting your knowing as your superpower. She’s been featured on The Big Talk Over Dinner television series and has trained with award winning director Tricia Brouk at her Speaker Salon in New York City Keiya’s also been a featured guest expert on the Follow Me Friday Podcast with Joan and Priya, Undiminished Me - curated conversations with Jupiter’s S.L.U.T., and on Blog Talk Radio with Carol On Fridays, as well as a guest appearance on The Dorothy Show.

Keren Eldad

As a business coach & speaker, Keren Eldad (“Coach Keren”) is a trusted advisor to industry-leading executives and superstar entrepreneurs who are setting records at the top of their fields. Since 2016, powerhouses have sought her out to help them make significant breakthroughs in the profitable growth of their business while revitalizing their energy and defining the meaning of their entire lives. Over the last three years, Keren has developed a measurably impactful and streamlined executive coaching process to do this, while working with top organizations including: J.P. Morgan, Christian Dior, Van Cleef & Arpels, IWC, Waypoint, Beyond Capital, YPO- and more. A diplomat’s daughter and graduate of the London School of Economics, Keren speaks five languages and can easily relate her message to anyone and everyone, including her social media following of 150K. Having served in the Israeli army and emerging into coaching from crisis counseling, Keren believes in service and humor as a way of life, and comes in focused on adding value and making things better in yours. As a coach, she is accredited by the ICF, WCI and TTI Insights (ACC, CPC, CEC , C.P.M.A., C.P.B.A., C.P.T.A.), and is a top-level Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line.

Kristina Hallett

Dr. Kristina Hallett is a Board Certified Clinical Psychologist, Executive Coach, Keynote Speaker and Associate Professor of Psychology at Bay Path University. She is the author of international best-sellers Own Best Friend: Eight Steps to a Life of Purpose, Passion, and Ease and Be Awesome! Banish Burnout – Create Motivation from the Inside Out. Dr. Hallett has a wealth of experience in speaking, teaching and clinical practice. She speaks internationally in several areas – productivity, resilience, communication, self-care, harnessing the positive power of stress, mentoring and living your best life. Dr. Hallett is the go-to expert for helping high achieving professionals re-energize, revitalize, decrease stress and ditch self-doubt so they can own their awesome and find true work-life synergy. She uses her decades of psychological experience, love of learning and down to earth approach to facilitate progress and change. She is known for her approachable style, ready smile and genuine commitment to achievable salutations that work fast.

Marc Cordon

Marc Cordon, MPH, is a positive psychology coach, co-founder of the Joy Revolution™, and author of the book Beyond Resilient: The Coach’s Guide to Ecstatic Growth. He specializes in transitions, leadership, performance, and well-being – helping people break through to the next level to find greater enjoyment and purpose in their lives. With a focus on misfit entrepreneurs and leaders who march to the beat of their own drum. Marc’s coaching empowers people to claim their joy as they make a difference for others. Marc served as the Associate Director of Health Promotion and Multicultural Programs & Services at Emory University where he developed programs and curriculum on social justice, positive psychology, and community engagement. He has received a BS in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and a Masters in Public Health in Policy & Management, as well as coaching accolades from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.

Mike LiPetri

Mike LiPetri was elected to the New York State Assembly on November 6, 2018. As an Assemblyman, Mike will continue his fight to hold criminals accountable, and root out and prevent public corruption in state government. He will also advocate for reduced state spending, small business growth, and the elimination of burdensome regulations that hamper statewide economic development. As an attorney, Mike has worked with law enforcement and emergency services providers. Understanding their commitment to our neighborhoods and their unwavering service, Mike will continue to advocate on their behalf and take steps to provide additional resources to help curtail the proliferation of heroin and other opioids in communities across the state. Additionally, Mike will fight hard to preserve Long Island’s precious water quality so Long Island can be a sustainable community for future generations. Prior to being elected to the New York State Assembly, Mike defended the City and its agencies including the NYPD, FDNY, and correctional officers. Mike also worked in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Albany County District Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General of the State of New York. He holds a Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from Albany Law School of Union University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the State University of New York at Albany. A resident of Massapequa, Mike is very involved in his community. He volunteers his time for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Sons of Italy, Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Sons of AMVETS, Massapequa Chamber of Commerce, and the Long Island Association. In honor of his achievements in both the civic and professional communities, Mike has been recognized by the Long Island Business News as one of Long Island’s upcoming business and civic leaders.

Mona Prophete

Mona Prophete is the CEO and founder of MsMonaSpeaks! To most who know her work, especially the thousands of youth she has spoken to, inspired, counseled and worked with over the years, she has affectionately come to be known as “Ms. Mona”. Ms. Mona is Haitian-American and grew up in Queens, New York. A motivational speaker, trainer and life coach for both adults and adolescents, she is quite passionate about her work and seeks to bring knowledge and enlightenment to all she encounters. Equipped with a natural proclivity to engage others, her newest endeavor includes the launching of MsMonaSpeaks!, an organization focused on bringing valuable and informative workshops and trainings to others. With over 15 years of experience encouraging and motivating our youth in a variety of different roles, her work with adults is now centered around the same premise. Naturally altruistic, over the years she has also volunteered her time with various organizations and has always sought to be vital in the amelioration of our society. A breast cancer survivor, Ms. Mona often speaks on this topic and how her battle proved to be a life changing experience. Ms. Mona received her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from the College of New Rochelle and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Adelphi University. In addition to this, she is also licensed in Restorative Practice and is mentor certified through Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Fordham University. Ms. Mona believes that motivation, tools for success and applicable knowledge should be accessible in an engaging, upbeat and in depth way for all.

Nicole Bruno

Nicole Bruno was born and raised in Farmingdale, NY. She is life long “Daler” who attended the same elementary school that her two children are currently attending and is proud to continue the Daler tradition. After seeking professional guidance from gender specialists and therapists when their 4 year old was experiencing significant gender dysphoria, the Nicole and her husband spent the next 2 years seeking guidance and support from medical professionals who specialized in gender studies/research and advocacy. Their research led to a discovery of the horrific statistics for transgender youth, due to oppression and discrimination, which led them to the decision as a family to affirm their child’s identity. Nicole has been a fearless parent advocate in her children’s school, community, local sports, and local advocacy outlets on Long Island ever since.

Nicole Varriale

Nicole Varriale is a middle school student in Farmingdale, New York. Her hobbies include pottery, drawing and painting, playing the piano and fishing. While she enjoys delving into my many recreational activities, it’s her love for dance and public speaking that truly captures her passion. She dances at the competitive level and will be participating in dance nationals this year. In the spring 2019, she was chosen to be a member of the panel for the “Long Island Connected Educator’s Summit,” a forum that bring educators together to discuss innovative ideas for preparing students for real world challenges.

Noelle Cutter

Dr. Noelle Cutter is by training a scientist in the field of molecular biology, currently studying medulloblastoma, a rare type of pediatric brain cancer, and the role that methylation plays in gene regulation allowing tumors to grow and divide. By doing so, she hopes to be able to better diagnose patients so they can be treated more efficiently. She is a mother to four beautiful children, Lily, Lucy, Jack and Isabel. She is a tri-athlete, and recently ran the NYC marathon in support of the Katie McBride Foundation to help support pediatric cancer where we raised over $37,000 in support of this cause.

Orville Davis

Orville Davis is a recent graduate from Farmingdale State University as a dual major in Global Business Management and Computer Science with a minor in Latin American Studies. Eco-sustainability has been on his radar for quite some time and he first explored it in his earlier ventures building Smart Homes to reduce energy waste but has since moved into the Solid Waste category with his new venture. Orville was “literally” born on a junkyard and has experienced first hand what this industry entails and the problems that needed to be solved. Scrap-It!, his mobile platform concept that allows you to have your junk disposed of in an eco-friendly manner and be able to track where it goes, achieved first place in various business competitions. Of note was the NY Business Plan Competition where he won first place in the entire New York State in the Energy and Environment Category. Scrap-It! has been working closely with NYSERDA to achieve eco-sustainability and waste reduction. Orville’s wife, Cynthia Davis, who is a Bioscience major, has been doing rigorous research on the topic and has been aiding with Scrap-It!’s solutions. Scrap-It! also have been working with professors of various universities to ensure their data is consistent. Apart from his business, he is a father, husband, motivational speaker, and life coach. Orville’s goal is to uplift the consciousness of the youth to help make the world a better place.

Peter Bronski

Peter Bronski has spent the past 20 years of his career focused on environmental sustainability causes. He is the founder & CEO of Inflection Point Agency, a boutique marketing and communications firm focused on the clean energy sector, with globally-respected clients such as the Energy Web Foundation and WattTime. In prior roles, he led North American marketing and communications for Panasonic’s utility solar and smart city businesses, served as editorial and marketing director at clean energy think tank Rocky Mountain Institute, and was founding manager of Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program. For the past 5 years, he has served on the faculty of eLab Accelerator, an annual bootcamp for clean energy innovation. Pete holds a BS in natural resources from Cornell University and was a Lockheed Martin Engineering Scholar.

Peter DeWitt

Peter DeWitt (Ed.D) is a former K-5 teacher (11 years) and principal (8 years). He runs workshops and provides keynotes nationally and internationally focusing on leadership, and fostering inclusive school climates. Within North America, his work has been adopted at the university and state level, and he works with numerous districts, school boards, regional and state organizations where he trains leadership teams and coaches building leaders. His Finding Common Ground blog has been published by Education Week since 2011. He is the 2013 School Administrators Association of New York State’s (SAANYS) Outstanding Educator of the Year, and the 2015 Education Blogger of the Year (Academy of Education Arts & Sciences). Peter is the author of several books including Collaborative Leadership: 6 Influences That Matter Most (Corwin Press/Learning Forward) and School Climate: Leading with Collective Efficacy (Corwin Press/Ontario Principals Council. 2017), Coach It Further: Using the Art of Coaching to Improve School Leadership (Corwin Press. 2018), and Instructional Leadership: The Why, What and How (Corwin Press. 2019). His articles have appeared in education journals at the state, national and international level, and he has presented at forums, conferences, and panel discussions at state, national and international conferences. Some of the highlights has been to present for the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), ASCD and NBC’s Education Nation.

Randee Bonagura

In 1992, Randee graduated from Farmingdale High School, and now sits in the same auditorium where she performed and enjoys her daughters’ concerts and theater performances as she raises Dalers of her own. Randee has been a teacher and administrator in several Long Island school districts over the past 23 years. Her classroom experience includes teaching second and third graders, instructing supportive math classes and courses for gifted and talented students at the middle school level, as well as providing high school reading instruction. She attended Hofstra University for her undergraduate education, received her administrative degree through the College of New Rochelle with a specialization in professional development, and returned to Hofstra to earn her doctorate in Literacy Studies, where she was an adjunct professor. Randee served as a reading department supervisor and assistant principal before becoming an elementary school principal, a role she has enjoyed for the past 8 years. In her first book, Embrace Makerspace: A Pocket Guide for Elementary School Administrators, Randee shares her passion for creativity, tinkering and enrichment for all. Randee enjoys spending time with her daughters, Allison and Zoe, and bonus daughters Jocelyn and Alyssa, and traveling with her husband, Dave. She plays clarinet with the Seaford Community Band and the Farmingdale Village Pops, and has had articles about parenting published on Grown and Flown.

Scott Schmaren

NeuroPerformanceologist, Scott Schmaren is an internationally known hypnotist, speaker, coach and author. He co-wrote the book, “Stepping Stones to Success”, along with Jack Canfield, Deepak Chopra and Dr. Denis Waitley. He is also the creator of, “The Quatric Formula for Success” which is the life transformation program he created to literally transform every area of his life, including helping him lose and keep off more than a 180 pounds. Scott has appeared on “Oprah” and Oprah said, “If Scott can do it, I can do it and so can you!”. Scott is a regular guest on The Howard Stern Show and Daily Mail. He has also appeared on Fox News, Coast to Coast Radio and has been featured in Reader’s Digest and The New York Times. Scott recently appeared on the television show, “Moving America Forward”, with William Shatner and Doug Lewellyn and was honored for his work. Scott has also spoken for many organizations including the women’s organization “Dress for Success” at their “Leadership Conference” and their “International Success Summit”. Scott has also presented a Ted Talk. Scott’s process of transformation is being used to help cancer patients, children and adults from all walks and areas of life. Scott has committed his life to helping others overcome the obstacles and challenges in their lives and to help them create and live the life of their dreams.

Organizing team


Long Island, NY, United States