x = independently organized TED event

Theme: N-Cubed - Noticed, Needed, Nurtured

This event occurred on
March 29, 2024
Placentia, California
United States

"Noticed, Needed, Nurtured" became the Wellness theme of Placentia Yorba Linda School District in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdowns. After a period during which our students were separated from each other and from us, we felt the need to remind each child that they are NOTICED, NEEDED, and NURTURED in our schools and, hopefully, at home as well.

For many students who spent months only sharing their bedroom ceiling fans with a Zoom class, that human connection they have at school is an essential part of who they are and who they will be in the future. Here at Valencia, we kept that mantra going and use it as our guide in crafting our mission statement:

Valencia High School is committed to supporting every student through high expectations in a nurturing environment to ensure success now and in the future.

We worked tirelessly to help each of our students adjust, reacclimate, and flourish through a campaign focused on their well-being. Every person on campus works together to create a sense of belonging among all students by assuring they feel noticed, needed, and nurtured on our campus. When students have a purpose and are valued within their school community, they are more likely to contribute positively and interact with others. They are also more likely to excel both academically and socially during their time at school. More importantly, they will feel loved and respected by their teachers, staff, and administrators.

School is sometimes the only truly safe space for students to interact with one another throughout the school day. When looking for our latest TEDxValenciaHighSchool theme, we opted to go with the slogan we live by, guided by the belief that every child deserves to feel noticed, needed, and nurtured.

Valencia High School
500 N. Bradford Ave.
Placentia, California, 92870
United States
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Valencia­High­School events


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

Aeden (Victor) Leon

Student Speaker & Musician
Aeden is an autistic teenager who loves music and commits mostly to music like learning doubles like bass clarinet and flute. He is part of the leadership in the band and has helped the tiger regiment succeed in multiple festivals and field tournaments. Aeden is a part of the VHS marching band, concert band, symphonic band, and jazz band. He has multiple of my hobbies - favorites include spinning vinyl records and listening to music - mainly jazz, jazz fusion, and prog. Aeden would like to thank his parents and his assistant band director, Rudy Arevalos.

Ananya Barjatiya

Student Speaker & CA's Youngest Certified Yoga Instructor
Ananya Barjatiya is a trailblazing young yoga teacher, mental health advocate, and founder of Yoga Connect, a pioneering organization dedicated to promoting mental well-being among teenagers through yoga and mindfulness practices. At just 14 years old, Ananya became one of California's youngest certified yoga instructors, driven by a passion to address the pressing mental health crisis affecting today's youth. Born into a vibrant South Asian family, Ananya draws inspiration from her roots in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, India. She is a proud sophomore at Valencia High School, where she excels in the Val Tech Academy, specializing in video production and computer science pathways. With her unique blend of cultural heritage, passion for mental health advocacy, and commitment to empowering today's youth, Ananya is poised to make a lasting impact on the world, one mindful breath at a time.

Annika Christy

Student Speaker
Annika Christy is a senior at Valencia High School. Annika is a talented artist & budding scientist who has committed her time in high school to further her quest for knowledge in both aspects. She is the Theater President and the Improv Team Vice President. Annika is one of two International Honor Thespians to graduate from VHS and serves her community & school as Vice President of NHS, President of Lending Paws, & a six-year choir member. Annika is an honors, AP, & ValTech student during class hours. Annika received her Girl Scout Gold Award this past year - a feat for which she was honored at Angels Stadium and is set to talk about as a panelist at the Voices for Girls conference. She has performed at many events as a featured singer & independent graphic designer, & her work has been used by peers & companies alike. Annika plans to major in biomedical engineering & minor in theater in college.

Anselle Pham

Student Speaker & Amateur Ornithologist
Anselle Pham is a senior at Valencia High School enrolled in the Val Tech Program. With her favorite subject being AP Environmental Science, Anselle is the president of the school's community garden club and likes to spend her free time being involved in outdoor activities such as birdwatching, hiking, and beach clean ups. Anselle also loves being creative and expresses her artsy side through crocheting and bullet journaling. As she is about to enter college, Anselle looks forward to further pursuing her passion in environmental science and wants to take as many opportunities as she can that can help her become more audacious.

Bill Meng

Student Speaker and Artist
Bill Meng is a Junior at Valencia High School, enrolled in the Val Tech program. Ever since he took his first art class at the age of 4, Bill fell in love with the craft & has been pursuing it ever since. He is the Vice President of the Arts & Creations Club on campus, a courtroom artist & Pre-Trial Attorney for Mock Trial, and a graphic designer for TigerTube. Bill helped paint/design the Mural in the Girl's Locker Room and the Drama Department's Spring Play - Trail To Oregon. Bill has participated in & won numerous art competitions. Recently, Bill won 1st place in the PYLUSD 150th Anniversary Logo Design Contest, Save the Frogs! Art Contest (U.S.), Seal of Civic Engagement Logo Design Contest, Yorba Linda Library's "Ancient Future" Art and Writing Contest, & the Mock Trial Courtroom Artist Competition. Outside of school, Bill has taken classes at ArtCenter & Otis College of Art & Design, & wants to go into the entertainment design field as a concept artist for video games & film.

Elliot Frields

Student Speaker
Elliot Frields is a Junior enrolled in both the International Baccalaureate and Val Tech programs. Elliot’s favorite subjects are AP Macroeconomics, AP Statistics, and IBHLY 1 English. Elliot Frields is a third-year member of Valencia's Mock Trial Team, acting as a lawyer for 2 of the 3. Elliot also participates within our school’s Future Business Leaders of America team and has just placed for states in the category of Economics. Elliot also has a passion for supporting his local community, serving as vice president for PYL Parks, a club dedicated to keeping our local parks clean and their best. In his free time, you can catch Elliot reading comics, watching movies, and indulging in anything related to science fiction.

Erica (QingShu) Zhang

Student Speaker
Erica is a Sophomore at Valencia High School, enrolled in dual International Baccalaureate and Val tech programs. She has been playing piano since age 6 and started composing at age 12. Erica is Interested in going into neuroscience / medical research. She also is passionate about volunteering for causes in education, currently volunteering at the Discovery Cube of OC. She was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award (gold) for dedicating 100+ hours of service. Erica is also a part of the Valencia High School Orchestra, Astronomy Club, & Tennis team. She enjoys playing piano, writing songs, making YouTube videos for her channels, and playing tennis in her free time.

Gabrielle Decuir

Student Speaker
Gabrielle DeCuir is a senior at Valencia High School enrolled in the International Baccalaureate & Val Tech programs. She is passionate about bioinformatics, which gives her a platform to combine her love for computer science and genetic biology to evolve modern healthcare. Inspired by the power of machine learning and data science, she plans to one day conduct research on Dementia of Alzheimers, a condition that runs in her family and impacts millions. Gabrielle is the co-president of the tutoring club “Booksmart” to support struggling elementary students and developed the "Hoops & Coders" initiative, which has exposed over 100 young women in underrepresented communities to computer science & basketball. Gabrielle’s ideal vision of the future is to make breakthroughs in bioinformatics & genetic engineering that will better society while still being able to continue her poetic pursuits and actively serve underrepresented communities to catalyze generational change in STEM industries.

Harshi Sanghani

Student Speaker
Harshi Sanghani is a junior involved in the dual International Baccalaureate and ValTech programs at Valencia High School. She is an avid member of Academic Decathlon, earning many medals, and striving to learn about the world in the process. Harshi showcases her leadership skills by participating in FBLA and even getting selected to compete at the state level. Harshi plans events for Girl Up, a club that advocates for the equity of girls around the world. Passionate about preserving her culture, Harshi teaches children Gujarati through the Swadhyaya program. In her free time, she enjoys reading fantasy and adventure books, watching movies, and painting. Harshi hopes to pursue a career in medicine to fuel her interest in biology and chemistry, as well as, help people in her community.

Ivan Solarzano-Hernandez

Student Speaker

Kulpreet Kaur

Student Speaker
Kulpreet Kaur is a junior at Valencia High School involved in the dual, International Baccalaureate and ValTech programs. With the desire to experience different platforms offered at her school, she is involved in Academic Decathlon, FBLA, and VHS Girl Up to develop her leadership skills. Her experiences throughout her life have taught her who she is today and reminded her to be open-minded to the various situations that will enter her life. Apart from being academically involved on campus, Kulpreet spends her time sketching, listening to music, watching movies, and dreaming about her future aspirations. Kulpreet hopes to give her dreams an open sky to fly high and pursue her career as a pilot.

Leila Armand

Student Speaker
Leila Armand is a Junior Dual Degree Val Tech & International Baccalaureate candidate at Valencia High School who is passionate about utilizing technology to raise awareness of women’s issues & drive engagement on impactful policies. As President of the Black Student Union, Leila actively fosters inclusivity & empowerment. Leila actively participates in Girl Up, Black Girls Code, & Girls Who Code, where she promotes diversity in tech. She holds a position as Student Advisory Board Intern at CK-12, where she spearheaded initiatives to enhance the learning community's experience through testing Flexi, the AI Chatbot platform. Leila' has complete an internship with Black Women for Wellness, where she led social media efforts for the "Get Smart Before You Get Sexy" Campaign, focusing on educating teens of color in Los Angeles about their health. Her insights are explored via her talk on the adultification of Black teens, shedding light on societal biases & challenging stereotypes.

Lola (Yikei) Yan

Student Speaker & Animation Artist for TEDx
Lola Yan is a Senior at Valencia High School in the ValTech Program and is interested in all things arts-related. She is a Graphic Designer at Diversify Our Narrative Placentia Yorba Linda Chapter, a contributing artist on Synthesis Publications, and president of the Arts and Creations Club at Valencia High School. She also enjoys teaching classes at Dutch Master’s Art Academy, where she discovered her love for arts education. As for art competitions, she has won two Honorable Mentions and a Silver Key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, along with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for Best in Acrylic. The idea for this TEDx Talk came from Lola’s personal experiences with domestic violence and its intersectionality with Chinese culture. Through her adversity, she has completed a 40-hour Domestic Violence Advocate Training Certificate, which designates her as a Domestic Violence Advocate under California Evidence Code 1037.1.

Maia Orejudos

Student Speaker
Maia Orejudos is a junior at Valencia High School and a candidate in the International Baccalaureate Program. Along with TEDx, she is active on campus as a violinist in the orchestra and a co-president of the Impact Christian Club. Off campus, she is active as a mentor for elementary-aged students and a member of her church. When she has spare time, Maia enjoys reading historical fiction, experimenting in the kitchen, and spending quality time with family friends, and nature. Her favorite pizza topping is pesto.

Mazatli Martinez

Student Speaker
Mazatli Martinez is a Junior at Valencia High School. She is part of the IB and ValTech programs offered there. She is a varsity flag football player and also plays for the flag football club OC Elite. Not only that but outside of school, she also plays piano and dances ballet folklorico. In her free time, she likes to volunteer at El Sol Academy and help with the music classes there, using her music background to give students the fundamentals they need when it comes to music. When not working on school or her extracurriculars, she loves to spend time with her family, traveling to different parts of Mexico and learning more about her culture. Overall, she is culture-oriented and loves to follow and learn more about where her culture came from and do more with it.

Oliver Poladian

Student Speaker
Oliver is the oldest of four children and a junior at Valencia High School. He is a varsity runner on the cross country and track teams, an IB diploma candidate, and a co-founder of the book club. Oliver was also featured in VHS’s two most recent drama productions for multi-night performances. His love of public speaking comes from a podcast he started during quarantine and years of telling scary stories while camping.

Owen Lee

Student Speaker
Owen Lee is a junior in the Val Tech program at Valencia High School. He is a member of the track and field team through which he has created unforgettable memories and developed his passion for running. Outside of school, Owen enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and dog. On the weekends, if he is not catching up on sleep, he is serving his community. Volunteering for organizations such as Olive Crest and Liberty in North Korea, he has attended a myriad of fundraising galas and assisted various communities in need. This upcoming summer, Owen plans to explore the business world as he works as an intern for the tech digital invitation company, Evite. In the future, Owen hopes to pursue a career related to his strong interests in both Asian-American studies and business.

Samantha Harker

VHS Alumni, IGPN PhD Student, & GAINS President
Samantha Harker is an autistic scientist who is dedicated to researching autism and advocating for individuals on the neurodiverse spectrum. She attended Arizona State University and the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy to earn B.A.s in English and Medical Humanities and was recognized as a top Spring 2022 graduate at both institutions where she graduated at the age of 18. Samantha aims to improve the understanding of autistic female adults by amplifying participatory research, increasing female participants in research samples, and reinvigorating resources and care for autistic adults by exploring the genomic association with autism & brain aging outcomes. Originally from Anaheim, California, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Arizona State University and Barrow Neurological Institute, where she is an ARCS scholar and represents the United States as a Quad Fellow. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exercising with her husky, raini, and creating calligraphy art!

Seth Chang

Student Speaker and Athlete
Seth Chang is a Valencia High School junior enrolled in the Val Tech program. He enjoys playing video games, programming, and hanging out with friends. He has a deep passion for programming and participates in the Future Business Leaders of America competition. He loves to explore all aspects of programming, from building websites to dabbling in machine learning. He also volunteers near his local church to give food to needy families. Additionally, he knows how to figure skate, play the piano, and participate in public forums and parliamentary speeches and debates, among other things. In the future, Seth plans to become a software engineer but still wants to enjoy all aspects of programming.

Yamini Vunguturi

Student Speaker
Yamini is a junior in the dual International Baccheloreate and ValTech program, in which she follows the cybersecurity pathway. Yamini loves to read theatrical fiction in her free time to escape the day's hardships to comfort or adventure. For extracurriculars, she participates in Mocktrial, GirlUp, Future Business Leaders of America, and Orange County Academic Decathlon and occasional wrestling with her 8-year-old brother. Some of her passions include swimming, which she has been pursuing since she was five years old; yoga, a subject she learned from her father; and cooking, a way to express her creativity through flavor. She is introverted in most situations but is very adaptable to experiences looking at events with different perspectives. Yamini hopes to make an impact on the community around her with her helping nature and try her best to make the world around her better.

Organizing team


Placentia, CA, United States