East Mecklenburg High school students share impactful words hosting TEDx conference

TEDx event sparking student conversation in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Have you ever stopped to think about how your words affect another person? Even just one word and how it may shape someone’s life, their present and future.

That’s the point students at East Mecklenburg High School wanted to make today through a TEDx event.

TEDx is similar to Ted Talks—where speakers share ideas in conversations, but the X stands for independently organized. Today, student after student stood in front of their peers, picking one word to talk about. Whether the word was simple, motivating or hurtful – students say they all teach a lesson.

“This year’s theme is one word to change the world, it revolves around this idea that words are so important, even the smallest ones can have the biggest impact so we wanted to hear what words really inspire, motivate or impact our speakers, our students here,” says student event organizer, Stephanie Suster.

“Spread the message that everyone has the potential to achieve what they want and I think as students, with grades and school, that message sometimes gets lost," said speaker and student Juanita Valencia.

Twelve speakers and performers who were a mix of students and teachers shared their stories choosing to speak on word’s that impact them. The TEDx conference is completely student ran and organized by students involved in the International Baccalaureate program.

“They know what they are saying is hurtful but they don’t want to acknowledge what it really is, so I wanted to talk about the n word and what it really means," said speaker and student, Trekahry Gadson.

Students say the message is simple:

“Just because of where people are, they might not get a chance to really speak up and share the things that matter to them, so this gives people a space to do that to talk about what they care about," said Gadson.

Suster says she hopes everyone who attends will,“feel inspired, or have a different take on a word or learned something completely new.”

The TEDx conference for East Mecklenburg High is a yearly tradition. This was the fourth year for the event.

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