Teenagers from across North Texas packed into McFarlin Auditorium Thursday afternoon to hear successful teenagers speak about various topics ranging from stereotypes to entrepreneurship at the inaugural TEDx conference for kids.
TEDx is a program that helps organizations, communities and aspiring entrepreneurs engage in meaningful conversation for an educational purpose. TEDx also provides an outlet for people social problems in society and how we can become a more united society.
“This is a great way for young kids to listen to the process of how people became successful,” Dallas/Forth Worth resident Kameron Thomas said. “These kids are going to be our next doctors and lawyers, so it is vital for them to listen and apply what they hear to their individual lives.”
Speakers ranged from established academic professionals to high school students.
Torrence Robinson, Senior Director of Community Affairs and Flour Foundation, stressed the importance of personal responsibility and accountability to be successful. Robinson also talked about using knowledge to help others.
“We want to help equip young people with the knowledge and power so that they can go out in the world and make a difference,” Robinson said.
After Robinson spoke, William Waters entered the stage. Waters, a Plano West High School student and leader, shared his personal experience about stereotypes in the U.S. Waters, a successful African-American teen, said students called him “acting-white” and a “sell-out” because of his eloquence and demeanor. Waters stressed the importance of overcoming stereotypes to be a unique, individual person.
“I want to major in international business and then go to graduate school,” Waters said. “We should not let the color of our skin hold us back from reaching our full potential.”