Great things don’t simply become great. Everything begins with an idea. Ideas are made great through the dreams and visions of those people who are willing to make them realities. But where do innovative ideas come from? How are they spread? In 1984, the nonprofit organization TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, was created with the mission of spreading inspiring ideas. Through short “TED Talks”, this organization has shared ideas and touched the lives of many, inspiring Santa Catalina, along with other institutions, to bring TED Talks to their local communities. The TEDxSCS club was brought to Santa Catalina seven years ago and has given students the wonderful opportunity to organize powerful and meaningful talks on a smaller scale. 

The TEDxSCS Team works tirelessly throughout the year to deliver the best experience possible for the Catalina community. The club is divided into six teams which are Human Resources, Speaker Curation, Website, Venue, Public Relations, and Technology. As Co-Head Sarah Sallee insightfully explains, “TEDx is an incredible experience that provides you with a glimpse into what it is like to work for a business. Each section within our club has different tasks that all play a vital role in curating our TEDx event.” This year’s TEDx team included numerous smart and talented girls who worked diligently to prepare for the event, which took place on February 12th with the theme “Picture This”.

The theme of “Picture This” illustrates the concept that anything is possible. If something can be imagined, it can be done. This year’s speakers were inspirational because they have allowed their ideas to become a reality. Behind these speakers, this year’s club heads, Sarah Scheetz and Sarah Sallee, both worked incredibly diligently to bring “Picture This” to life and were thrilled to see the event become a success. After interviewing both heads to speak about the event, it is clear that they both believed that it was a powerful and exciting experience. 

When asked why she chose the theme “Picture This,” Sarah Sallee eagerly replied, “We wanted our 2020 TEDx event to be about sharing the stories of people who persisted and worked hard to bring their dreams to life. “Picture This” means to think creatively and have the courage to share your dreams, thoughts, and ideas.” Sarah Scheetz agreed, explaining, “I think this theme gives people the opportunity to reach outside of their box of thinking. Ideas can inspire the future and inspire others to create a difference in the future. “Picture This” shows that anything can be achieved if it is a goal and you work to achieve it.” Both TEDx club heads seemed to agree that “Picture This” is about inspiration and ideas worth turning into a reality. The group of speakers that were invited to share these ideas truly showed the Catalina community how important it is to have the courage to make ideas into something bigger than oneself.

This year’s speakers included a wide range of professionals. Sarah Sallee revealed, “Amanda Nachman, CEO of College Magazine spoke about finding a career you are passionate about. Santa Catalina School student Kaitlin Chriswell ‘21 also delivered a talk about what she has gained from being a “Third Culture Kid” in 2020.” These speakers both presented new ideas and life experiences that inspired audience members. Sarah Scheetz added, “All of our speakers shared different ideas or the life stories that have changed them throughout their lives. They discussed how certain things have changed their present and possibly their futures.” 

But despite all of these amazing speakers, there are challenges with directing such a large and complicated event. From time management to communication, both heads seemed to agree that things did not always go as planned. According to Sarah Sallee, “Speed and time management are probably the team’s biggest foes. There are so many different tasks that we aim to accomplish in time-sensitive timelines all leading up to the day of. I feel overwhelmingly grateful to be surrounded by such an amazing team. Every girl on our team works extremely hard to do the very best they can so that no matter the time frame, they give an assignment their all.” With such a large group of girls, it can be hard to take charge of so many different tasks at once. Both Sarahs worked diligently to ensure that there was constant communication between teams, and they did an excellent job of keeping the entire group on track. When asked how this experience was for her personally, Sarah Sallee replied, “My experience as a co-head of TEDx has been equally exciting and terrifying. I absolutely love this job and I feel very grateful to have been given this opportunity. Having the chance to help curate an event that shares new ideas and stories and brings our community even closer together is something I feel very grateful to be a part of.”

As for how this year’s event played out, both Sarahs were very proud of how their TEDx team made the theme “Picture This” come to life. Each TEDx talk was interesting and engaging and truly spoke upon the theme of new ideas. The event was very successful, running smoothly from beginning to end. Overall, the event brought an amazing and insightful experience to our community, and this accomplishment made the hard work of the TEDx team entirely worth it. 

There are struggles and joys that come with working on the SCS TEDx team, but both Sarah Scheetz and Sarah Sallee have found it to be an exciting and powerful experience from which they have learned a great deal. “Picture This” demonstrates the concept of making ideas into something wonderful, and it was uplifting to see how this year’s speakers have allowed their ideas to change their own lives. Indeed, turning an idea into a reality can seem daunting, but for those who have the courage to do so, it is inspiring to hear what can be accomplished.


If you want to hear more about this year’s TEDx event, go to their website at https://tedxsantacatalinaschool.org/2020-picture-this/!

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