16 Jul 2014

My TEDxSMU Triple Crown

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By Amit Banerjee on July 16, 2014

It all started with a field trip to the TEDxKids@SMU conference in 2011 with my English class. We were enjoying listening to the speakers while relaxing on giant bean bags. Suddenly, I hear this “If any audience members would like to introduce a speaker, please come backstage during the break for an audition.” An opportunity to be on a TEDx stage was not to be missed, so I rushed backstage where I got to meet the then TEDxSMU director Sharon Lyle and the hosts Kelly Stoetzel and Rives. The next thing I knew, I was on the stage introducing Tali Marx. I was exhilarated, couldn’t believe it was happening to me. The lights were on me!
My 2012 TEDxSMU experience was even more incredible. In recognition of my efforts to inspire philanthropy among youth through my magazine “Philanthropy Kids”, I was invited as a speaker to share my ideas that kids can be philanthropists too and that you don’t have to be rich to be a philanthropist. On the day of the conference, outwardly, I appeared calm and collected. But 4 minutes before I was to get on stage, my body started shaking, my temperature dropped, I felt like I had amnesia. Lewis Warren played magnificently on the piano and I thought to myself “I have to follow that”. But as soon as I got up on the stage, adrenaline kicked in and I started feeling great. I remembered everything I wanted to say, and I knew that I was going to make a difference in these kids’ lives.
My role has since evolved to one of a Youth Advocate. At the 2013 conference, I helped Public City with their Message in a Bottle project. My job was to encourage every audience member to write a message that would then be put into these bottles and distributed around town. Volunteering was my way of giving back to the organization that brings such wonderful programs to us.

Audience member – check

Presenter – check

Volunteer/Team Member – check
This is what I call the TEDxSMU triple crown.


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