The breadth of ideas that Saint Francis students pursue was on display at the inaugural SF Talks, a TED-style event in which Lancers inspired their audience with short powerful talks.
In front of 200 attendees, 17 students offered their perspectives on issues such as women in technology, political awareness and contemporary art. Sophomore Aarjav Joshi used his talk to break down the emotion of fear.
“I’ve always been afraid of public speaking,” he said. “The best way I can uproot this fear was by trying public speaking itself. SF Talks was the perfect platform for this.”
Junior Amanda Smith spoke about astrophysics and dark energy and how recognizing the way the universe works can help us understand the significance of our lives. Her decision to take part in SF Talks was to encourage her audience to continue chasing whatever makes them curious because the search for knowledge is always exciting.
The energy throughout the day was positive and electric. There were plenty of nerves backstage before the curtains went up, but once the event was over, the butterflies were replaced by relief, happiness and pride. Students delivered well-crafted messages that resonated with both peers and parents.
“I was thrilled to be surrounded by intelligent and passionate students who are all on the same mission to help other kids find their voice,” Amanda said.
The idea to hold such an event at Saint Francis came about after a group of Lancers were selected last year to speak at a TEDxYouth conference sponsored by a local high school. Participating in it made such an impact on them that they were determined to bring something similar to Saint Francis. They formed a club, moderated by Mrs. Shortal, and worked all year to bring their idea to life. This first SF Talks was a great debut, they say.
“The most amazing part was that everyone was already looking forward to next year and thinking how they might be involved,” said sophomore Aishani Aatresh, a club co-founder.
Videos of the student talks will be available early summer. Check sfhs.com at that time for more information.