x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Creating Connections

This event occurred on
March 20, 2024
MONTEREY, California
United States

We chose the theme Creating Connections to show young minds that we can all end up helping the world in one way or another. After college, there are many opportunities for jobs in numerous different categories, and we wanted to highlight the plentiful, unique connections we can all have depending on our interests. By introducing you to speakers who have enhanced our community through their knowledge and curiosity in their subject, we hope you can come to terms with your true potential after high school and see the vast pathways for prosperity and self-growth.

Mary Johnson Recital Hall
1500 MARK THOMAS DR, Sister Mary Kieran Library
MONTEREY, California, 93940
United States
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Catherine Schweikert

Dr. Catherine Schweikert is a psychophysiologist whose research focuses on how compassion affects our physiology. As a physician assistant in emergency rooms and urgent care offices for over 23 years, she has experienced difficulty maintaining compassion. This inspired her to get a Ph.D., and her dissertation was on compassion and physiology in health workers. She later attended Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) and created a program to help healthcare workers and others create a sustainable compassion practice that avoids the pitfalls of empathetic overwhelm. Dr. Schweikert has delivered lectures and presentations for audiences such as Sutter Medical Group, the Veterans Administration, Sacramento State University, UC Davis, Kaiser Permanente, My Sister’s House, and the Family Justice System.

Coco Xu

Coco Xu is a junior boarding student from Shanghai, China. She loves playing basketball and competing in track and field and is the head of two clubs at Catalina—Cougars in STEM and Alegria (Smile Fund), which focuses on philanthropy by organizing bake sales to raise funds for children in Colombia who require surgery for cleft lips. Additionally, she is in Reverb, which is one of Catalina’s performing arts clubs (the B. R.E.A.L. clubs).

Laura Rubio

Consultant to the UN
Laura G. Rubio studied international relations in Mexico City and earned her master of arts in East Asian studies at the University of Southern California and her Ph.D. in history of forced migration at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. She has written three books and several articles on forced migration that have been published in academic journals and edited volumes in English and Spanish. She was a full-time professor at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) for 10 years and has been a consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for various projects focused on internally displaced persons in Mexico and Latin America. She has also consulted for Refugees International and for Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de Derechos Humanos (the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights). She currently heads a non-for-profit organization in Mexico dedicated to development projects in the state of Hidalgo.

Lucy Yu

Lucy went to attend the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona. Lucy became involved in Greek life and, as a sophomore, served as her sorority’s vice president. She leaped into student government as a junior and was elected student body president in her senior year. As president she managed a $30 million budget and blazed a new path as she led 30,000 students through a pandemic. Lucy started her professional life working for the InterContinental in downtown Los Angeles. She was soon recruited to work for the president of Lucasfilm as her executive assistant, which led her to her current job working Meet the Speakers for the president of CBS News. Lucy loves living in Los Angeles, being immersed in the entertainment industry, attending countless events, and, of course, always meeting new and interesting people. Of everything that Lucy has accomplished, the thing she’s most proud of is having been a Santa Catalina lifer!

Mike Marotta

Mike and Anna live in Monterey, California. As the junior class president, Anna actively participates in the community through performing arts, including theatre and ecco!, as well as clubs such as the National Honor Society. One of her favorite ways to spend her free time is with her family. Her grandfather, Mike Marotta Jr., is an accomplished musician and well-liked businessman in the Monterey area. He specializes in playing the accordion and loves to share his passion for music with others. Mike was introduced to the accordion by his grandfather, Aurthur Marotta, and continued to play along with his father, Mike Marotta Sr., who is remembered as the honorary “Mayor of Alvarado Street.” He continues to keep the musical traditions alive within his family and community by playing and volunteering with various organizations around the Monterey Peninsula. Mike and his wife of 46 years, Laurel, have three children and eight grandchildren.

Organizing team


Monterey, CA, United States