TEDxYouth@CEHS aims to awaken and inspire Cape students and community members by presenting speakers with experiences and stories that offer new ways of creating a joyful, purposeful life. In the spirit of “ideas worth spreading,” TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to spark ideas, discussion and connections. In 2012 the CEHS Steering Committee piloted the very first TEDxYouth event in Maine, and has since staged three more.
Our most recent event on December 7, 2018 included the following performers and speakers:
(see their videos on youtube)
Alex Hansen | Pianist
Alex is a junior at CEHS and has been playing piano for nine years. He mostly enjoys listening to jazz and RnB and is in various ensembles at the high school. This summer, he went to Berklee College of Music for a week-long program to study specifically jazz piano and improvisation. He is a student of Tom Snow and is a member of Cape’s Concert Jazz Ensemble and Steve Grover Combo. He was recently chosen by audition as the pianist for the 2019 Maine All-State Jazz Combo.
Kai O’Connor | Student, Sailor
After graduating high school in 2017, Kai set sail, solo, for an eight-month journey from Maine to Mexico and back. During a particular five-day sail from Isla Mujeres to Marathon, Florida, his view of the world changed more than the weather. Kai grew up in a small town in Vermont, but spends as much time as he can on the water in Maine. He is now attending the University of Vermont to study biomedical engineering.
Joanne Arnold | Photographer
Joanne Arnold graduated from MECA in 1979 with a BFA in painting. Regaining her visual self became a priority 10 years ago after her three children were off to college. One practice she began and continues now is to photograph at dawn every day, without exception, year round. She wanted to learn the lessons of showing up, of putting herself on the spot, to work with what existed before her and recalibrate the discipline of seeing, to be faced over and over again with uncertainty that would rekindle a spirit of invention and challenge her assumptions. Her work as a photographer introduced her to those who inhabit this early morning landscape: the fishing community, dock workers, the homeless and recovery population. Her work as an Interfaith Chaplin (Chime 2013) deeply informs her work and how she moves throughout this landscape.
Neo Mohsenvand & Hannah Campbell | MIT Media Lab Researchers
Mostafa (Neo) Mohsenvand is a PhD student at MIT, working on combining Artificial Intelligence and human intelligence. He records his life on video alongside his brainwaves and biosignals in order to build a personalized artificial memory system. He is also building prosthetic memory systems and applications for people suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia. His work has been covered in MIT Technology Review, Quartz Magazine, Fast Company and Vice. His background is in Mathematics, Neuroscience and Engineering.
Hannah Campbell is a documentary filmmaker and an aspiring singer and songwriter. She started making videos and recording her life when she was 12 and has since made hundreds of videos, including vlogs, singing performances, poetry and reality shows. Hannah is working on the future of personal videos and vlogs and how our digital memories can lead to a new kind of inheritance and a new definition of identity. Her documentaries are featured in MIT Technology Review and Quartz Magazine.
Piper Strunk | Irish Dancer
Piper Strunk is a Junior at Cape Elizabeth High School. She has been Irish Dancing for more than 13 years and has competed regionally, nationally and worldwide. She has trained for the past two summers alongside Riverdance in Dublin, Ireland. This coming spring she will be competing at the World Irish Dance Championship and then in the North American Irish Dance Championship. Dancing is her passion and she is so excited to share it with everyone.
Maryn McKenna | Journalist, Author
Maryn McKenna is an independent journalist who specializes in public health, global health and food policy. She is a columnist for Wired Magazine and contributes to several prominent magazines and newspapers. A Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, Maryn is the author of the 2017 bestseller and award-winning BIG CHICKEN: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats. Her 2015 TED Talk, “What do we do when antibiotics don’t work any more?” has been viewed 1.6 million times and translated into 33 languages. Though Maryn lives in Atlanta, she married into a family who have been Mainers since the 1830s.
Griffin Carpenter | Actor
Griffin Carpenter is a 2013 graduate of CEHS, and in 2017 he earned a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Past roles include Lachimo in Cymbeline at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and Jessep in A Few Good Men at NYU. Most recently Griffin played lead in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Good Theater in Portland, Maine—a performance that received rave reviews across the Speakers & Performers
Kaylo Littlejohn | Student, Ultra-Endurance Athlete
Kaylo Littlejohn is a 21-year-old Columbia University student, ultra-endurance athlete, and electrical engineer. Originally from Camden Maine, Kaylo is an African American entrepreneur, health enthusiast, and student. Kaylo has recently completed the Moab 240 Mile Endurance Run, a grueling 238.3 mile, nonstop ultramarathon through the steep desert mountains of Moab, Utah. Kaylo’s run is dedicated to FNE International, a charity which builds homes for families in Nicaragua. Kaylo’s other accomplishments include winning the Maine State 195 lb Wrestling Championship, spending 3 months in silent meditation at Vipassana Meditation Centers, and managing over $240,000 in advertising for Camping Unlimited and Living Unlimited, two nonprofits serving children and adults with mental health disabilities.
Abby Donnelly | Student, Traveler, Volunteer
Abby Donnelly graduated from CEHS in 2013 and has since traveled to 23 countries volunteering, studying and teaching. She is currently living in Boston finishing a degree in International Relations, Economics and French. She is planning to join the Peace Corps upon graduation.
Anna Stevens & Harry Baker | Singer & Guitarist
Anna Stevens, a senior at CEHS, has been singing for as long as she can remember. She studies voice at Midcoast School of Music in Portland and is active in school music groups, including choir, and a vocalist with jazz ensembles. Her vocal excellence has been recognized through her acceptance to the Maine State Jazz All State Festival 3 years in a row. In the summer of 2017, she studied pop music and RnB at Berklee College of Music. Also active outside of school, Anna has performed at Blue, a local jazz club, Portland House of Music, and the Freeport Music and Arts Festival. She wants to share her love of music with new audiences and will continue to sing in college.
Harry Baker is a senior at Cape Elizabeth High School. He plays guitar in the band Capitol, many school combos, and will be playing in this year’s All-State Jazz Combo. He is an active member in the Portland music scene and often collaborates with other local artists.
Cathy Kidman | Leadership Consultant, Live Storyteller
An organizational development and leadership consultant, Cathy’s speaking and consulting has taken her to Micronesia and Dubai, all points across Maine, and a few other U.S. destinations. Her experience spans the public, private and nonprofit sectors. In addition to consulting, she has held multiple executive roles, including founding executive director of a nationally recognized LGBTQ youth leadership organization. She is also an ovarian cancer survivor who, while undergoing treatment, began writing and performing stand up comedy which led to writing a memoir and performing live storytelling, most recently in Boston for the Moth StorySlam and the Moth GrandSlam. A graduate of Smith College, she holds masters degrees from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Public Administration and the University of New England in Social Work.
Adam Jackson | Live Sound Engineer, Production Manager
Adam Jackson is a 2003 graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School. As a Touring Live Sound Engineer and Production Manager since 2007, Adam has worked closely in the music industry with many Grammy award-winning, multi-platinum selling artists to help build their live show and bring their ideas to life. His work has taken him to all ends of the Earth, working with people of all types to reach one common goal—to give the audience a one-of-a-kind concert experience. When he isn’t pushing his bags through an x-ray scanner at the airport, he enjoys spending time at home in Portland, Maine with his beautiful wife, Hannah, and their amazing son, Ike.
Jennifer & Jake Ryan | Manager Project Zero, Open Bench Project
Jennifer Oxman Ryan is a Senior Project Manager and Researcher at Project Zero, a research organization at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She currently works on the Pedagogy of Play project, an initiative in partnership with the LEGO Foundation that investigates playful learning and what it means to embrace play as a core resource for how children learn in school. In addition to play, Jennifer thinks a lot about maker-centered learning, arts education, mindsets and dispositions, and cultivating teacher and learner agency. Her most recent book, Maker-Centered Learning: Empowering Young People to Shape their Worlds, was published by Jossey-Bass in 2016. Jennifer has degrees from Mount Holyoke College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She grew up in Auburn and currently lives in Portland with her family of playful makers, ages 9 through forty something.
Jake Ryan is the founder and director of the Open Bench Project, a makerspace offering a collaborative workshop, access to tools and equipment, and a variety of skill building opportunities. Over the years Jake has been a student of math, art, psychology, education and architecture. He is a thinker-doer-learner-explorer who feels best helping people bring their ideas to life, facilitating community and encouraging people to try new things in the face of failure. Today he lives here in Portland with his remarkable wife Jen and two confident children, Max and Sophia.
Rohan Freedman | CEHS Student Speaker
Rohan Freedman, a senior at CEHS, is interested in studying biology in college. He is the captain of the swim team, co-president of the Stock Market Club, vice-president of PeaceJam, and an active member of World Affairs Council and Model UN. Outside of school, Rohan swims on a year-round club swim team and is passionate about painting, even though he isn’t very good at it yet. This past summer he spent 8 weeks in Beijing, China doing research in rice genetics. Rohan plans to join the effort to eradicate hunger worldwide.