At TEDxRedmond, we’re privileged to have a dedicated committee made up of local middle and high school students. We’re also very lucky to have such encouraging parents, who drive us to meetings, offer up their insight (and, occasionally, credit cards!), and allow us to do what we love.
We’d like to extend our deepest thanks to Joyce Svitak, Lakshmi Ganesan, Neelam Chowdhary, Bola Agbonile, and all the hardworking moms and dads of TEDxRedmond’s team. We couldn’t do it without you!
The TEDxRedmond 2013 Planning Committee:
Curator: Adora Svitak
Co-Presidents: Maya Ganesan and Julian Pradeep
Head of Speakers: Christina Dias
Head of Logistics: Ethan Perrin
Head of Publicity: Jessica Perrin
Adora Svitak, Curator
Since the age of four, Adora Svitak has been exploring what she can do with the written word: everything from championing literacy and youth voice to working with the UN’s World Food Programme to raise awareness about world hunger. Hoping to instill her love of writing in others, she taught her first class at a local elementary school the year her first book, Flying Fingers, debuted; since then, she has spoken at hundreds of schools, classrooms and conferences around the world. In 2010, she delivered the speech “What Adults Can Learn from Kids” at TED. The speech received over one million views online and has been translated into over 40 different languages. That same year, Adora started organizing TEDxRedmond. Over the course of years of speaking, her audiences have included teachers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, artists, students, and delegates at the United Nations. She will be a senior at Redmond High School in fall 2013.
13-year-old Apoorva Chowdhary was part of the committee for the first time last year; she is very excited to now again be on the organizing committee. She likes playing piano, reading, math, and karate. She has recently become a black belt in karate. Apoorva also enjoys writing on her blog, where she covers everything from child obesity to favorite Google doodles.
Christina Dias is a fifteen year old sophomore who has spoken previously at TEDxRedmond on the subject of viewing the world with brighter eyes and an open mind, a topic in which she believes almost as firmly as her passion for arts. Amongst balancing activities such as badminton, robotics, and Bellevue Youth Symphony, Christina is the co founder of a youth outreach group called The Red Balloon Project, Secretary of her Honor Society chapter, ASB President of STEM High School, editor of the Youthful Words column at the Redmond Reporter, and still regularly writes on her blog Merry Go Round. This being her third year on the committee, Christina is ecstatic to work with this amazing group of people again and can’t wait for another incredible event.
A curious mind, Chunyang is a junior at Interlake High School’s Gifted Program who is determined to discover as many secrets of the world as he can. Captivated by the natural laws of science and mathematics, he still finds time to read and write on his blog , as well as being a class officer for the Class of 2015, Math Club officer, SNHS founder, and BYSO member. In his free time he tweets about #StuVoice and getting wrapped up in fandoms like DocWho and Homestuck. He believes that every person has a huge capacity for good, and is determined to help unlock that through many programs, including TEDx! As a first year committee member, he is excited to learn the ropes and help make a success.
Dylan’s interests range from science and technology to design and teaching as he simultaneously explores the wonders of our universe. While not working on a new idea or educating himself on pressing issues of our world, Dylan frequents Youtube to take a break and catch up on some Vlogbrothers, Vsauce, Veritasium and the occasional music video as an alternative way of learning. After attending TEDxRedmond in 2012, he has also become widely fascinated with education reform–a movement led by great innovators such as Seth Godin, and, most importantly, the youth of America. One day, Dylan hopes to make as much of an impact as he can through application and action to improve our understanding of what it all means.
With an innate curiosity about how things work and an ingenuity to tinker and build, Ethan is a self-learner at heart who spends a lot of his free time at his dad’s electronics table, at a woodworking bench, or browsing the web for new ideas. Among other projects, including model airplanes, catapults, air cannons, helicopters, electronics, he spoke at TEDxRedmond 2011 about taking pictures from near space for just a few hundred dollars. Ethan is currently a freshman at STEM High School.
Sixteen-year-old Hannah Yang is active in student government as well as academics. She enjoys reading literature and writing poetry and prose. For the past few years, Hannah has participated in the PTSA “Reflections” contest in the Literature division; she was honored with an Award of Excellence from the Redmond Junior High PTSA for her short story, “Absence.” Most recently, she authored the young adult novel Fall of Another.
At fifteen, Jessica is a part-time student at Interlake High School, but a full-time reader, doodler, and dreamer. Though she’s been devouring books for as long as she can remember, she’s also interested in diversity and representation in fiction and media. When she’s not crying over her favorite fictional characters, Jessica enjoys drawing, debating, writing novels and poetry, and frozen yogurt.
Jessica Perrin, Head of Publicity
Currently a junior at the International Community School (ICS), this is Jessica’s second year on the TEDxRedmond committee and excited to be a part of it. Her creative, artistic and social personality gives her a great work ethic working towards goals. Jessica frequently volunteers through her position as head of the volunteer committee in her school’s FBLA chapter, as well as any other opportunities in her community. She especially enjoys the outdoors, and loves to hike, bike, mountain climb, camp, and the outdoors.
An active athlete, student leader, and actor, Julian Pradeep always tries to actively participate in his community. Recently he represented his school throughout the state for leadership conferences, participated in basketball at the national level, and has been part of 5 Redmond High School Drama Productions. Julian is currently engaged in both his school’s activities and government as well as work with the city of Redmond. He is looking forward to this next year to continue writing short stories, poems, and screenplays, which he hopes to later publish!
Ever since a young age, Kelly has shown great aptitude in mathematics. In 8th grade, she qualified for the USAJMO (United States of America Junior Math Olympiad), a proof-based competition that selects the top 230 math students under 10th grade in the entire country. She has won countless other awards in other regional and state level math competitions, and seems to have an aptitude for learning languages as well as a surprising obsession with French.
At fourteen years old, Lilian is currently an eighth-grader and ASB Secretary at Redmond Middle School. Adventurous at heart, she loves literature, music, and trying new things. Her hobbies include playing volleyball, piano, writing, and rock-climbing. This is her second year on the TEDxRedmond team, and hopes her experience from school leadership will contribute to the event.
Lisa Marie Dias
With a strong passion for reading and writing, Lisa Marie enjoys writing short stories and poems during her free time. Since third grade, Lisa Marie still enjoys playing competitive badminton and has won numerous achievements, including Varsity this year. She is currently part of her schools Track and Field Team which she enjoys. Since she played her first note at the age of four, Lisa Marie has had an incessant love for playing the violin. Her interests also lie in reading, drawing, and taking part in musicals. This is her third year being part of the committee and is so excited for planning TEDxRedmond 2013!
Mahi is currently a 9th grade Gifted High School Program student at Interlake High School. Her passion for TEDxRedmond began with TEDxRedmond 2011–hearing the speakers and watching the performances were a source of inspiration. To spread the word and make it even better, Mahi joined the TEDxRedmond team in 2012 and continues to have a blast with the other committee members. Outside of TEDxRedmond, Mahi participates in several clubs even winning at the state level and moving on to the international level for Future Problem Solvers (FPS) and DECA. Hanging out with friends, watching movies, and listening to lectures are her favorite pastimes.
Maya Ganesan, TEDxRedmond Co-President
Maya Ganesan is a fifteen-year-old sophomore from Redmond, Washington. Her first poetry collection, Apologies to an Apple, was published by Classic Day Publishing in 2009. Her poems have appeared in Crab Creek Review, Hobble Creek Review, Fire on Her Tongue (Two Sylvias Press), and other journals and anthologies. This is her fourth year planning TEDxRedmond.
Oorja is a 14-year-old ninth grader and this will be her second year on the organizing committee. She enjoys artistic things such as playing her violin, writing short stories, and drawing. She is part of a leadership group at her school, the Indian Association of Western Washington Youth Committee, and Junior Asha. She also does sports like Gymnastics and Karate, where she has a black belt. She can’t wait to see how the next TEDxRedmond event will turn out!
In contrast to those who consider themselves “right-brained” or “left-brained,” “better at math” or “better at languages,” Priya Ganesan is well-rounded in every sense of the word. The varsity tennis team member and twelve-year piano player is not only skilled in mathematics (she’s received awards at national, state and regional math competitions), but also competes in business competitions and helps fundraise for various charities.
Shaan Shridhar is sixteen years old and a student at LWSD’s STEM High School. She sails competitively as part of the NWISA youth circuit and the NWYRC, in which she placed first in her division in 2012. She expresses her love for music by playing the violin and the guitar. Shaan has taken part in the Innovate for Good community, and is also a People to People Student Ambassador alumni, traveling to Australia in 2009 to strengthen international student bonds. This is her third year on the TEDxRedmond planning committee.
At fifteen years old, Sophia is an aspiring poet and enjoys creative writing. She loves all kinds of art, whether it be music or painting, and has been privileged with 10 years of classical piano experience while dabbling in some composing and songwriting of her own. Sophia enjoys studying both local and international history, with her group’s documentary for National History Day about the Soviet reform process of Perestroika winning first in the state and 7th nationally. She is very excited to be on the TEDxRedmond team and hopes to make the next event the best yet!
Our thanks to
Outreach, Fundraising, and Talent Team (OFTT):
Previous TEDxRedmond Committee Members: