Amala Anna Theakanath
Student and Founder of Budding Art Foundation
Amala Anna Theakanath is a senior at Los Gatos HS. In her free time she enjoys painting, reading, as well as writing. She's a two time published author of Princesses of India and Life of a Chinook Salmon. She's also the founder of Budding Art Foundation, a nonprofit where high school students use their art through their volunteer work. Amala's talk is inspired by the growing polarisation she witnessed on social media apps and how she wanted to find solutions on how to resolve and prevent this.
Touring Adjudicator and CEO of Elevate Convention
Professional dance educator, touring adjudicator, published author, and TEDx speaker Jadell Lee brings a fresh perspective of life to audiences across the country. Lee has served as adjunct professor of dance at Seton Hill University, (2x) guest lecturer at Southern Utah University, Assistant Director of CRU Dance Competition, touring faculty with Thrive Dance Experience, Symposium Talent Contest and United States Tournament Dance as well as guest master instructor for Abby Lee Dance Company. Lee has worked with American Idol Season 15 Runner Up, LaPorsha Renae, Jussie Smollett and Dance Mom's Season 8’s, Sarah Georgiana. In addition, Lee has been featured in Yahoo, Thrive Global and more for his mental health advocacy, as well as on SiriusXM. Helping creatives grow to the next level of their dynamic excellence, Jadell Lee holds are Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of California, Riverside and is the CEO of Elevate Convention.
Student and Caregiver
College student and caregiver Justin juggles it all while bringing a fun interactive way to be positive. Justin, a second-generation Korean-American, is a second-year Managerial Economics major at the University of California, Davis currently exploring the business world. A member of the Finance and Investment Club and AggieWorks at UC Davis, Justin aspires to open a non-profit one day. When not in a classroom, you can see Justin spending time with his family and friends. At UC Davis, you can catch Justin playing tennis, practising violin, and learning how to boulder. Justin's talk is inspired by his sister who has an intellectual disability.
Vice President of WPHS Women In Sports
4th year student at West Park High School, Kaia enjoys serving others and making people happy. Kaia serves as the Vice President for West Park High School's 'Women in Sports' club and aspires to promote change through the use of compassion and understanding. She fights for those that she loves and cares deeply for everyone. Kaia is currently applying to CSU's and UC's in order to further her goal of studying criminology in college, ultimately to go into criminal law. Kaia is very passionate about her family and friends, and enjoys spending as much time as possible with them. She enjoys going to the movies with her brother and mum, as well as going on walks with her Nana. Kaia loves expressing herself artistically through singing, writing poetry, and baking. When Kaia was 7 years old her father passed away due to a massive heart attack, and due to this trauma and grief, Kaia has decided to focus her talk about the effects of grief on a person, and how it can change people over time.
Student and Pianist
Matt Christian Tilos is a current 2nd-year student at West Park High School. Aside from being an avid pianist since childhood, Matt has been in West Park's band programme since his freshman year. He won't be delivering a TEDx Talk in the usual sense—but his interpretations of Franz Liszt, Ludwig van Beethoven, and even 'meme music' open portals to new worlds limited only to the imagination. With the instrument Matt has been playing since childhood, he will perform Franz Liszt's 'La Campanella', and is confident that its overarching motifs, intricate melodies and harmonies, and ever-changing inflections will leave you with a new kind of 'wow' that will linger throughout the event.
Student and Published Author
Having been a writer for numerous years and publishing the first instalment of a fantasy trilogy based on Chinese mythology next year, Nico Brown’s TEDx talk about using literature to combat prejudice draws from personal experience and intends to inspire others to take action against racism in the world. He has been a member of Woodcreek High School’s band programme for the past two years and has been an avid pianist for nine.
CEO of Evolve Youth Trades Academy
Patricia Robinson earned her bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Lancaster Bible College and her associate degree in Corporate Communications from Elizabeth College. An accomplished author, speaker and transformational Coach, Patricia has appeared on many local TV shows and radio broadcasts sharing her youth programs initiatives and vision for the City of Harrisburg. Patricia has written many articles published in local magazines as well as international magazines like Toastmaster’s International.
Patricia launched Evolve Training and Development in 2016, where she offers personal development coaching and workshops on basic financial literacy, communication skills, entrepreneurship, self image training and public speaking to young adults and adult professionals. At Evolve, Patricia also created two new skills training programmes: Women in Trades for adults and Youth Trades Academy in 2018 for middle and high school students.
Student and Behaviour Technician
Mental health advocate and behaviour technician Rachel Edio delivers a new approach on navigating life as a young adult. Growing up the daughter of a first-generation immigrant, Rachel entered adulthood with a strict expectation of how her future would play out. But once she turned 18, she soon realised that she could not achieve her aspirations in the exact way she intended; her goals would have to adapt with her experiences. Rachel is a second-generation, Filipino-American college student studying sociology. She aspires to get her master’s degree in social work and become an LMFT. In her free time, Rachel likes to volunteer at the animal shelter and go on hikes with her friends. She likes to let her creative side flow through baking and music. Rachel’s talk is inspired by the ever-changing definition of the American dream, as well as the societal pressure to always stay occupied.
Student and Spirit Coordinator of Key Club Division 44 West
Sana Qorbanzadeh is a current 3rd year student at Woodcreek High School. She passionately serves Cali-Nev-Ha Key Club's Division 44 West as their Spirit Coordinator. From leading her division in action-packed chants to educating officers on member retention and engagement through spirit, she thoroughly enjoys bringing out the social aspect of Key Club. Aside from Key Club, she is a first-generation Afghan-American who has a strong interest in biology and neonatology. In her talk, Sana plans to redefine and reinforce the purpose of community service.