Randall Middle School Principal Claire Mawhinney and AVID teacher Lori Beth Bradner are excited to announce that the school has been granted a license to hold a TEDxYouth event at the school on Thursday, March 10, 2022.

What do a NASA rocket scientist turned American Ninja Warrior, a Bay News 9 anchor and a Lithia middle school principal have in common? They will all be speakers at TEDxYouth at Randall Middle School on Thursday, March 10, 2022, and local students and community members also have opportunities to be involved.

“We are so excited to announce that TEDxYouth has granted Randall Middle School a license to host an event with a live studio audience taping in our media center,” said Randall AVID teacher Lori Beth Bradner, who filled out an extensive application for the school to be considered for the TEDxYouth license.

TEDxYouth is a daylong event for middle and high school students, with live speakers and hands-on activities organized by the world-famous nonprofit TED. Since its inception in 1984 as a conference on technology, entertainment and design, TED has been devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short talks on almost all topics. The talks are now shared online and are viewed by millions all over the world.

“This is a really big deal and wonderful opportunity for our students to have their voices heard as well as listen to the stories of some amazing people from all over the country,” said Bradner.

Randall students will be involved in the event from start to finish, even having the opportunity to audition to do their own TED Talk in front of the 100-person audience.

“The theme of the event is ‘No Limits! Excite. Empower. Ignite.’ Which is so appropriate for our amazing Randall community,” said Bradner.

Speakers already lined up include Janet Ivey with Janet’s Planet, Erica Riggins with Bay News 9, Randall teacher and author Maria DeVivo, author and motivational speaker Kaplan Mobray, Director and Producer Bill Fortune, NASA scientist turned American Ninja Warrior Kevin J. DeBruin and artist Molly Fortune.

“Dr. Bradner has always found ways to bring the real world to our school and give the kids experiences that will challenge them and help them become better adults,” said Randall Principal Claire Mawhinney, who will also speak at the event. “This opportunity will offer them hands-on experiences for what they can do with their futures.”

Community members also have the chance to make an impact on this exciting, nonprofit event. Bradner is offering residents, business owners and groups the opportunity to sponsor seats for students with a donation to help cover the costs of the event.

For more information on how to get involved, reach out to Bradner at lori.bradner@hcps.net or 803-409-3478. To learn more about TEDxYouth, visit www.ted.com.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.