Students to Showcase Ideas at Inaugural TEDxSioux Falls Youth Event

Thought-provoking. Inspiring. Ideas worth spreading. Fifteen Sioux Falls School District students will take the stage on Friday, March 24, 2023 at 7pm in the District’s first-ever TEDxSioux Falls Youth event. TED is a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for polished speakers to share short talks to spark conversation, connection, and community. Tickets are available at the following link:

Sioux Falls Superintendent Dr. Jane Stavem meets regularly with high school students. She recognized the need for the District’s leading young thinkers and doers to have an amplified voice in the community and it sparked her own idea worth sharing – an annual TEDx event for students. “I am constantly impressed by the passion, knowledge, and desire for further growth displayed by our students. I have the privilege of hearing their ideas, their concerns, and their solutions to issues they face when I meet with them. The community deserves to hear from them, too, and standing on the ‘big red dot’ at our first TEDxSioux Falls Youth event is just another step toward connecting our students and community.”

Dr. Todd Novak, Jefferson Freshman Academy Coordinator, is the lead organizer of the event. Teachers from each Sioux Falls Public high school evaluated 39 applications and selected 15 students to participate in the inaugural event. Speakers practiced weekly since January to receive coaching to develop their ideas and presentations. “Our students are very invested in and excited for the TEDxSioux Falls Youth event. This is an opportunity like none other and students are working hard to perfect their presentations.”

TEDxSioux Falls Youth speakers and their ideas worth spreading follow:

  • Audrey Akkerman – Risking It All to Stay Connected
  • Isabela Azumatan Aceituno – What Happens When You’ve Reached Your Life’s Goal?
  • Masha Doering – A Fish Out of Water
  • Luis Gaspar – The Story and Importance of Mental Health
  • Jenisha Gurung – Home is Where the Heart Is – Not Where People Tell You It Is
  • Beneyam Hassen – The Expectation of Happiness
  • Alexis Hopp – Art is Expression
  • Zouhera Mahamed – The Fear of Failure is Holding Us Back
  • Aayush Mohapatra – The “Art” of Programming
  • Moriah Mulamba – Transferring Your Tools to Power Opportunity
  • Sunday Rose – Am I Congolese or American?
  • Will Schmidt – How Safe Are You Really?
  • Carter Van Ruler – The Importance of the Journey
  • Joudy Wahbi – Is Our Universe A Line or A Circle?
  • Ida Pickner – The Hidden Health Crisis Affecting Children in America 

Tickets for the TEDxSioux Falls Youth event are $5 for students and $15 for adults. Single tickets are available immediately. Group tickets will be available Monday, March 13, 2023. Purchase through PayPal. Tickets will be under your name at the “will call” table on the night of the event. The community is invited to attend.


TEDx events in Sioux Falls are licensed by Thadeus Giedd. Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation is the sole sponsor.

About TEDx, x=independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, often in the form of short talks delivered by leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED Conferences, intimate TED Salons and thousands of independently organized TEDx events around the world. Videos of these talks are made available, free, on and other platforms. Audio versions of TED Talks are published to TED Talks Daily, available on all podcast platforms.

TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; TEDx, which licenses thousands of individuals and groups to host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities; The Audacious Project, which surfaces and funds critical ideas that have the potential to impact millions of lives; TED Translators Program, which crowdsources the subtitling of TED Talks so that big ideas can spread across languages and borders; and the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED also offers TED@Work a program that reimagines TED Talks for workplace learning. TED also has a growing library of original podcasts, including The TED Interview with Chris Anderson, WorkLife with Adam GrantFar Flung with Saleem Reshamwala and How to Be a Better Human.

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