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My Experience at TEDx New Bedford

This past Friday was full of noteworthy, unique speeches in New Bedford at TEDx. There were many inspiring speakers but two specific speakers, Lauren Prestileo and Joshua Encarnacion, stuck with me coming from a student’s perspective.

WGBH - American Experience, Lauren Prestileo, June 5, 2015Lauren Prestileo spoke about the education system and true meaning behind a story versus simple name and date memorization. Through her personal experience traveling around the world, she learned through culture and native stories that opened her eyes to the lack of richness that is taught in classrooms all around America, “the greatest country ever”. Her breathtaking images of reality overseas and passionate words spoken upon the local’s lives gave me an eye opening experience to how much history students miss out on by trying to cover over every historical surface. I found a greater appreciation for Spain and Cuba’s culture in those 18 minutes than I have in my 15 years of schooling. It is time to “educate through hiSTORY.”

Joshua Encarnacion was another speaker at TEDx who I found very encouraging. He is a recent graduate at UMass Dartmouth so it was interesting to see how he incorporated his personal college story with his redefined vision of belief. While many know the definition of belief to be revolved around setting expectations for someone and if they are met only then are you satisfied. If that person does not meet your expectations, they are Joshua-Encarnacion-300x200considered a failure and revoked of their true potential. Josh is devoted to changing this perception of the word belief. “A new definition of belief: encouragement, empowerment, engagement.” Instead of setting expectations for someone you believe in, invest in them and help them grow through failures and achievements. Being a student involved in organizations on and off campus, I found this speech to be very influential in the way I believe in the peers around me. Instead of trusting in them for my selfish ideals it is time I become selfless and invest my time into their pathways to goal completion.

TEDx New Bedford was full of true inspiration from award winning poets to marine biologists tracking great white sharks around the Atlantic Ocean. There was at least one empowering speech for all 800+ attendees in the Zeiterion Theatre that day. The power of a person’s voice can inspire true growth and change the world.

Sarah Riley
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