It was a Wednesday afternoon and I thought I was going to an afterschool club, but there was some scheduling confusion so I had to join my mom at a party for Tedx presenters. Unbeknownst to me, I wound up belonging at the party.
While we were sitting there, I was asked what I would talk about if I ever had the chance to do a Tedx talk. Surprisingly, I had an answer at the ready because of some very recent experiences. At that moment, I thought it would be important to talk about how relationships in middle school negatively and permanently affect young girls. Since then, it has changed several times, but that’s where it all started.
As we were leaving the party, the organizers called out after me as I was walking out the door. I came back in and they said they had an open slot to present and invited me to speak. I was genuinely shocked. I told them I would think about it.
I had an opportunity to meet a lot of very impactful people that night. Most of them have very impressive careers while all I’ve done is gone to school. I wondered, “Why me?”. I’m only 12 years old so I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to hear anything I had to say.
That night, my mom and I went on a standard evening Target trip for a few things and I saw something that helped me make up my mind; a pink sweater with the words “I Am a Vital Voice” in bold red letters. We bought the sweater and posted a photo of me wearing it on Facebook to let the organizers know that the decision had been made.
As the weeks have gone by, I’ve been doing a lot of writing and preparing. It has been stressful and overwhelming, but I hope it will be worth it when I get to share my presentation, “From ‘I Hate You’ to ‘Thank You’”.