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Olivia Vinckier’s TEDx talk finds global audience


Olivia Vinckier’s TEDx talk finds global audience
Olivia Vinckier’s TEDx talk finds global audience
  • ACTIVITIES
Olivia Vinckier’s TEDx talk finds global audience
Olivia Vinckier’s TEDx talk finds global audience
Olivia Vinckier’s TEDx talk finds global audience

As a sophomore, Olivia Vinckier spoke eloquently at the TEDxSaintFrancisHS event about how she approaches the issue of race as a multiracial individual. Her talk not only inspired her fellow Saint Francis peers and sparked new conversations, but it also resonated with the larger internet community. Olivia’s talk was selected to be elevated to the official TED platform, showcasing her ideas alongside those of the world’s leading experts and thinkers in their fields.

“I feel very grateful for the opportunity to come to this school and do a program like TEDx, which is completely student-run at Saint Francis,” she said. “So many people helped me through the process. I just feel very lucky that as a 15-year-old, I was posted on the TED platform.”

Olivia, now a junior, is getting used to the fact that more than half a million people have already viewed her story. However, she insists that anyone can learn the skills of public speaking and storytelling. She says she stood out because she found a creative element to frame her story. 

“That’s something I would apply to life in general,” she said. “Anyone can learn how to do anything, but it’s finding a creative edge that makes something different and special. I think being different is a good thing because it makes you stand out.”

Since its inception in 2018, the TEDx program at Saint Francis has been a popular and meaningful outlet for students because it provides them with a space to talk about what’s important in a setting wholly different from the classroom. Through these talks, students have demonstrated that teens don’t have to wait to reach a certain age to share their reflections and impart wisdom.

For this school year’s TEDxSaintFrancisHS event, which will take place in spring 2023, Olivia serves as a director in training, shadowing the three current directors so that the following year, she will be one of the students in charge. She enjoys motivating student speakers as they develop and sharpen their talks. The rewards of being on stage to share personal insights through a well-crafted talk are numerous, and she encourages all Lancers to consider signing up next school year.

“Everyone really does have a story that they can tell. They might not think it’s important, but it can touch a few people,” she said. “People do appreciate when you’re vulnerable and they relate to you. It’s a great experience to feel that sense of relatability.”