RHS Student Competes at TedX Youth Sioux Falls Contest

POSTED May 23, 2023

Senior Luis Gaspar represented Roosevelt High School at the annual TedXYouth Sioux Falls competition on March 24 at Jefferson High School from 7:00PM-9:00PM.


According to Ted.com, “TED Conferences are organized and run directly by TED. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis. The goal of TEDx is to inspire a passion for spreading ideas in local communities from within”.


  (Summaries and answers from interview with Luis Gaspar.)


What made you want to enter/compete in TedX?

Gaspar stated that he saw the posters and decided he wanted to try and see if they would accept him and also wanted to experience talking in front of an audience.


What was your topic and why did you pick it? 

Gaspar explained that his topic of mental health is so important in the world today because of the stigma people often have toward the topic.  He stated his personal experience with mental health made it clear this was what he wanted to share with the audience. 


How did you research the topic?

As far as the research aspects of the competition, Gaspar received a lot of help from coaches with finding and deciphering statistics, especially from the Institute of Mental Health website.  He also used his own personal experience as a foundation.


How did you prepare for the competition?

Preparing for a competition was definitely a timely process as Gaspar explained.  Starting in mid-January, work began as they talked about their topics and how they wanted to present them.   Preparation over the months also included how to present to an audience, how the audience should feel during and after hearing the presentation, and feedback from TedX speakers and English Teachers.  Finally, in March the mechanics of being on stage were the focus along with the script.  One aspect was seeing how not to present (not fidgeting, keeping eye contact, and finding your rhythm).


How did you do in the competition?

Gaspar said he was the only competing student from RHS and explained he did well, but he was nervous during the time he was in front of the audience.  After a while, he got into a comfortable rhythm and shared what he wanted to share with the audience.


How will this experience affect your future?

When Gaspar answered this question, he stated that he was able to leave a message for the future. He also shared that he wanted to be able to tell people he did a TedX. 


What advice would you give to students looking to compete in future years?

“Whatever great idea you have, share it.”

“Don’t be nervous. Talking on stage isn’t as bad as people say it is.”


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