Building student leadership through TEDxUWCSEAEast
By Tricia Friedman, Digital Literacy Coach, East Campus
"I guess planning is everything in this kind of event. I also guess, no matter how much you plan, the great day has to be lived carpe diem." -Gaetano Drago, Grade 12, TEDxUWCSEAEast leader
Dear Future Student Leaders of TEDxUWCSEAEast:
When is the last time you put your leadership skills to the test? How often have you pushed yourself to collaborate under pressure, and to problem solve in real time? What would you like the UWCSEA East community to learn about? Why would you want to dedicate months to the learning of your school?
These questions are just a few to wrestle with if you’d like to consider joining our TEDx group. This year’s cohort delivered a remarkable event on Saturday, 4 March. The line-up of speakers spanned from urban farmer Bjorn Low to celebrity chef Shen Tan (pictured left), to professional YouTuber Ryan Sylvia to artist Samantha Lo. And that’s just a small sampling of what our TEDx students coordinated. The student leadership team is not only responsible for acquiring excellent speakers, but they are also accountable for the coaching, practice, rehearsal and support of each and every one of those speakers.
Building the narrative of a successful event begins with listening. Students listening to students, as well as the broader community. From that perspective of empathy and a desire to compliment our learning environment the students brought this year’s theme to fruition: 'Change is the Only Constant.' Those in attendance this year listened to speakers unpack that theme through three strands: Shaping Singapore, Shaping Humans, and Shaping Yourself.
How does participating in TEDxUWCSEAEast shape the student? If you are lucky enough to know one of the team members, you’ll see dedication in motion. You’ll hear passion, and you’ll feel valued. This is shown in the countless acts of leadership any one of our team took on. This is our executive leaders never needing to be asked to put in extra time. It is the look on one of our professional adult speaker’s faces while receiving effective feedback from a high school student. Mostly it is the perfect balance of diligence and compassion which becomes the core of the student group.
Some students may wait to be taught about the UWC mission, but those who work tirelessly for an event like a UWCSEA TEDx, teach it. If you are looking for an opportunity to see what happens when you seek to unite people, when you embrace the force that education is, TEDxUWCSEAEast might be an activity you want to join next year.
I cannot thank our 2017 team enough for setting the bar so astoundingly high this year. I challenge our 2018 team to continue to use TEDxUWCSEAEast as an avenue to define what it means to be a leader in this community.
Interested in crafting our next theme? Watch upcoming announcements and invite yourself to a unique challenge in 2018.
Congratulations to our TEDxUWCSEAEast 2017 student team: Harshita Agarwal
Goya van den Berg