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Happy June, Delaware! This month means Pride, Juneteenth, Immigrant Heritage Month, and on Technical.ly’s own editorial calendar, Racial Equity in Tech Month.
Also happening this month: Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to noon, there will be a special [email protected] event at Middletown High School. With eight speakers and the theme “We…Today“, the focus is on stories under 25 navigating the COVID-19 era.
Something remarkable about the event is that it’s led by Delaware’s youngest TEDx co-organizer, 15-year-old Kathryn Young. She is a rising junior from Middletown, a member of the non-profit college access TeenSHARP, and the daughter of TEDxWilmington organizer Dr. Dan Young.
Below, we asked him five questions about his experience. Some answers have been edited for more length.
Young: I’ve been involved with TEDx for a long time, actually. In 2014, when I was 8 years old, I was asked to moderate an event. At the time, I was petrified at the very idea of speaking in front of a crowd, but I still managed to persevere and complete the task successfully. To this day, I still feel a sense of pride when I think back to that moment. In the years since, I’ve been at several other TEDx events, mostly setting things up before guests arrive and opening up for the moderator and speakers.
For this event and the previous ones, my father was the main reason for my participation. Without his help, I would never have dreamed of being where I am today. I am eternally grateful to be in a position that allows me to offer others the opportunity to share the topics they find endearing and important with the rest of the world.
Has TeenSHARP had an impact on your career?
I joined TeenSHARP at the end of my eighth year, about two years ago. The program was recommended to me and I quickly realized that it would become extremely valuable in the college admissions process. TeenSHARP taught me crucial skills that helped me on my journey through the early years of high school. Primarily, they helped me improve my leadership skills, which I believe helped me tremendously in coordinating this TEDx event.
What was the biggest challenge in planning the event?
Overall, my biggest challenge in planning this event was my lack of experience. For example, I often receive emails from our speakers, most (if not all) of whom are older than me, asking for advice on their videos and speeches. Providing them with reviews can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when I’m not sure if my advice would bother them. Trying to help coordinate an event of this magnitude is incredibly new to me, but I’ve learned every step of the way and gained a little more confidence doing it. There’s a lot I don’t know yet, which means I often have to search for answers requested by speakers, but I hope to gain more knowledge and become a more trusted resource over time.
Do you plan to continue your involvement with TEDxWilmington?
Simply put, I’ve been involved with TEDx for seven years and have no plans to stop my involvement any time soon. With TEDxWilmington, I gained an extra level of appreciation for the work that goes into planning an event like this. For this one in particular, I took on the role of co-organizer. However, with the next event I’m working on, I intend to serve as the lead organizer. Naturally, there’s a plethora of things I need to do to prepare for such a responsibility, but I’m very excited about it.
What are your other plans as you head into junior year (and beyond)?
In terms of academics, I plan to double the number of AP courses I take and stay on the honors track. I want to continue my involvement in the arts by auditioning for more shows and musicals in my community, joining a choir, and taking some sort of leadership position in my school’s arts club. I will also continue to volunteer at my taekwondo studio and maybe go for another black belt. Outside of extracurricular activities, I plan to apply for more scholarships and summer programs. Beyond that, I’m just going to see where life decides to take me and go from there.
As always, if you have a story you think might be suitable for Technical.ly (including guest articles by local experts), send us a message at [email protected]
Upcoming Delaware Events
- Le Cavalier de l’Hotel du Pont will participate in National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday, June 3, in partnership with Wilde Thyme and Stateside Vodka, donating all proceeds from the day to Everytown.
- For the first time, the Emerging Enterprise Center will participate in the City of Wilmington Art Loop on June 3. It will feature one of its newest incubator residents, the Bridge Art Gallery, as well as the BryteLighters exhibition, featuring cross-medium collaborations with Alcohol Ink artist Bryant Small.
- June 3 will also kick off the “Award Winners” exhibit of the work of the Delaware Individual Division of the Delaware Arts Artist Fellows at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover. It will continue until July 23.
- The Delaware Pride parade and festival takes place June 4 in downtown Dover.
- This month will also bring the return of Futures First Gaming’s Girls Who Game event on the 18th. More on that soon.
- TIL (on the r/WilmingtonDE subreddit) that you can use your library card to check out day passes at Delaware state parks, the Brandywine Zoo, and museums including Hagley and the Brandywine Conservatory . Availability is limited.
- Wilmington Alliance has a new full-time member on the team: Langston Cotman, Community Engagement and Programming Coordinator, who will focus on West Center City. Prior to this role, Langston ran after-school arts programming in Baltimore City and was a farmer for two years.
- And have you seen Technical.ly’s third annual RealLIST connectors? Check out our latest roundup of Delawares keeping the local tech and business community close.