2015 Event

2015 Program

On-Stage Hosts

Sidne Fonville is a junior at Skyline High School who loves to play, watch, talk about, and breathe sports. Aside from her intense athletic life, she is discovering her newfound passion for being on stage. She is a member of the Communication Media & Public Policy Magnet Program at Ann Arbor Skyline High School and aspires to become a sports broadcaster. This will be her first TEDx experience, and she could not be more enthusiastic about it.

Mira Heaney is a junior at Skyline High School. As a sophomore, she gave a TEDxYouth@AnnArbor talk titled “Thoughts on Modern Feminism” that have been viewed close to 1,000 time. She is excited to come back as a host for this year’s event. She is bright, warm, and ecstatic to be able to showcase this year’s TEDx talent. Aside from her passion of being on stage, she is part of the Teen Voice youth group at the SafeHouse Center and is in multiple choirs.

Set one: The Nature of Information

8:00am - 10:00am

How Technology Is Shaping Our Generation

Morgan Chrisman is a junior at Pioneer High School who is excited to be sharing her ideas about the ways people interact with the internet. Ever since she was little, she has spent her free time heavily involved in musical theatre, reading (especially Harry Potter!), and traveling with her family. In college, she hopes to study engineering. This is her first TEDx experience.

Chloe Fraleigh is a junior at Skyline High School. She can be found wandering outside on her bike, listening to music, and hanging out with friends. Chloe is in her second year of the Communications, Media, and Public Policy magnet at Skyline, and also tutors her peers in the Skyline Writing Center. She is very excited to be speaking at her first TEDx experience.

Music: "Lampman": The Importance of Improvisation

Matt Chrisman (12 Skyline), Brendan Lemkin (12 Pioneer)

You're Not Alone: The Truth About Depression

Colette Stearns is a senior at Huron High School who is a first-year participant in TEDxYouth@AnnArbor. She is excited to be given the chance to raise awareness for depression as she shares her experience. She keeps busy by babysitting regularly, hanging out with friends, and participating in Huron's poetry club. Colette will be attending The University of Toledo in the fall.

Malicious Online Marketing

Lauren Albert is a sophomore at Pioneer. She's the vice president of DECA, a competition that prepares students for careers in business. During her freshman year, she was the youngest individual from Pioneer to qualify for internationals. She loves swimming with the rest of the varsity team, helping out at student council, and being the Vice President of World Hunger Project.

Break for conversation & activity

10:00am - 10:30am

set two: The Nature of Marginalization

10:30am - 12:00pm

Music: KDJ Trio - "Daytimer" -

an original piece written by Kameron Johnson

Trio Members:

Jonathon Muir-Cotton , bassist

Kameron Johnson, 16, pianist

Donavon Johnson, 13, percussionist

Jonathon S. Muir-Cotton is a 17-year old senior graduating from Ann Arbor Skyline High School. He is a multi-award winning musician-athlete, who plays basketball in addition to pursuing greatness on the double bass and the 4, 5, and 6-string bass guitar. Jonathon plays a variety of music crossing many genres, including, but not limited to, Classical, Funk, Neo-Soul, R & B, Hip-Hop, Gospel, and Jazz. Jonathon has been blessed with great opportunities to perform in Detroit, the greater Detroit Metropolitan area, the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area, as well as other venues outside of the state of Michigan. After participating in extensive music education programs and ensembles in middle and high school, Jonathon will begin his studies to pursue his Bachelors in Jazz Studies this fall. Jonathon hopes to someday tour the world, perform with other great musicians, become a music educator, teach Jazz at the collegiate level and be an inspiration and give back to the next generation of students and aspiring musicians.

The Oreo Category: How the African American Race Degrades the African American Race

Charles Graham is a junior at Skyline High School. He is currently in his second year in the Business, Marketing, and Information Technology magnet, which is a series of classes that prepares students for the business world. During his free time, Charles likes to skip rocks and ride his bike, because he cannot afford a car. He is very passionate about educating people on the “new racism” and is extremely excited to be participating in TEDxYouth@AnnArbor for the first time.

Sexual Violence and College: a Call to Action

Ali Shahin is a senior at Skyline High School and a first-year participant in TEDxYouth@AnnArbor. An outspoken activist, Ali is particularly invested in combating gender inequality. He is a peer educator with the SafeHouse Center, where he teaches high schoolers about consent and healthy relationships. Next year he will be studying urbanism and gender studies at Wayne State University. When he's not on the front lines of activism, he can found writing poetry, practicing guitar, and participating in Neutral Zone programs.

You're Going to Be Okay: Healing From Childhood Trauma

Katy Pasquariello is a freshman at Community High School. She occupies her time playing saxophone, writing short stories, and making awful jokes. She is very passionate about educating others on child trauma and helping people who have gone through it. She is a part of the CHS Jazz program and went with the program to Tennessee to perform with Victor Wooten. When she is not playing saxophone or helping others, you can find her cuddling her dog Bo and watching Chopped. This is her first time doing a TEDx talk.

Lunch, Music, Activity

12pm - 12:45pm

set three: The Nature of Perception

12:45 - 2pm

Your Imagination

Brett Boehman is a senior at Pioneer High School. He is on the Student Council and is the Class of 2015 President, competes with Pioneer in Ethics Bowl, and is a member of the peer counseling group PPI. Outside of school, Brett spends his time running, daydreaming, and reading philosophy. Next year he will be attending the University of Michigan and intends to study sociology and philosophy.

Islam: a Religion of Peace or Violence?

Mustafa Syed is a sophomore at Skyline High School. Having moved around a lot, he’s seen many different perspectives. Being a muslim, he has experienced the increasingly global islamophobia. He wishes to change people’s views on this matter.

Color Blind

Eleana Tworek is a junior at Skyline High School. She volunteers at the SafeHouse Center in Ann Arbor as a peer educator working to teach teens about consent and the importance of healthy relationships. When she's not spreading her knowledge to other Ann Arbor teens, you can find Eleana on the soccer field or taking portraits with her cameras; she loves art, especially photography. This year, she is excited to make her debut at TEDxYouth@AnnArbor and hopes to spark a conversation on her topic as the local community listens to her speak.

A Little Talk about Big History

Sam Talsma is wrapping up his sophomore year at Greenhills High School. When not studying Big History, he spends time playing on the Greenhills tennis and baseball teams, as well as serving on his school’s student government. Outside of school, he is a member of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation’s Youth Council. Although he loves living in Ann Arbor, he cherishes his summers spent on the beach in Charlevoix, where he sails, plays the guitar, and continues to hone his skills as a master skipper of stones.

Talking About Disability: Past, Present, and Future of the Chromosapien

Colette Stearns is a senior at Huron High School who is a first-year participant in TEDxYouth@AnnArbor. She is excited to be given the chance to raise awareness for depression as she shares her experience. She keeps busy by babysitting regularly, hanging out with friends, and participating in Huron's poetry club. Colette will be attending The University of Toledo in the fall.

Break for conversation & activity

2:00pm - 2:30pm

set four: The Nature of Globalization

2:30pm - 4:00pm

The Cultural Perspective of Beauty

Zyrah Ashraf is a junior at Washtenaw International High School. Last year, she was awarded the regional champion for poetry interpretation, and took top ten in the state competition. This year, she competed in the Muslim Interscholastic Tournament and had taken first in spoken word and second in improvisation, qualifying her for the national tournament at Houston, Texas. She is also a member of Model United Nations, and has recently become president of her school's Junior State of America chapter. Zyrah is involved in many speech and debate teams in efforts to voice out her opinions. She loves to make a difference, and she hopes to study international relations in the near future to work as an international lawyer.

How the United States Can Learn from European Sex Education

Frances MacKercher is a junior at Community High School. She keeps busy playing tennis, writing for the school newspaper, and serving as a board member on the Board of Directors at the Neutral Zone. Her passion for reproductive justice and sex education was discovered this year when she joined Planned Parenthood as a Peer Educator.

Frances MacKercher is a junior at Community High School. She keeps busy playing tennis, writing for the school newspaper, and serving as a board member on the Board of Directors at the Neutral Zone. Her passion for reproductive justice and sex education was discovered this year when she joined Planned Parenthood as a Peer Educator.

Why The World Should Dance More

Anurima Kumar is a junior at Community High School. Along with playing music and being a part of a genetics research volunteer group, she has been performing an Indian classical dance form called Bharatanatyam for over 10 years; she is passionate about how culture is a good thing for the world and has written about it as a journalist as part of her school newspaper. Instead of studying, she’s probably watching episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender for the thousandth time.

Bridge of Technology: Volunteering at Grace Girls School in Sri Lanka

Mishaal Yazdani is a freshman at Skyline High School. She enjoys Skyping every Saturday morning with the girls at the Grace Care Center, an orphanage based in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, and hopes to visit them in the near future. She is interested in pursuing a career in the health and medical field so she can help many individuals and touch their lives in different ways.

Nikita Bazaj is a junior at Greenhills School. She has worked with Grace Care Orphanage in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka since her freshman year and was fortunate enough to visit the orphanage last summer. Nikita has Skyped with the girls on a weekly basis to help improve their English and develop a personal connection. This summer, Nikita plans to revisit the orphanage with a better understanding on how to further help the girls. Apart for her work at the orphanage, Nikita is an active participant on her school's Forensics team and has qualified for the state competition each year in high school. If not on the tennis courts, you can often find Nikita singing in the theater or practicing for singing competitions across the state. Nikita hopes to become a lawyer in order to continue helping individuals like the girls at Grace in the future.

What is the African Dream?

Alfred Maganga is an international exchange student sponsored by the YES-program from Tanzania in East Africa, and is a senior at Pioneer High School. He is a young man totally immersed in the passion to pursue the African dream and making it real. He is interested in international affairs and engineering, and is planning to have it as a major in college. As an active student, he is a member of the Pioneer track and field varsity team, enjoys being in the Pioneer Choirs, and listens to music whenever he can.

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED