High school students in Hillsboro are encouraged to sign up to speak at the event.

The third annual TEDxYouth conference hosted in Hillsboro isn't until next spring, but the deadline to sign up to speak at the event is just around the corner.COURTESY PHOTO - This will be the third TEDxYouth event in Hillsboro coordinated by high school students.

The youth conference, which is organized by the City of Hillsboro's Youth Advisory Council, closely resembles a formal TED talk and is licensed by TED — the annual Technology, Entertainment, Design conference held yearly in Vancouver, B.C., with discussions focusing on a wide variety of topics.

The Hillsboro event, known as TEDxYouth, features youth speakers exclusively, said Kristi Wilson, who works for the City of Hillsboro and helps to organize the event.

High school students in Hillsboro are encouraged to sign up to speak at the event on April 26, 2019. Speakers can sign up online at by Sunday, Nov. 25.

Each year, the youth conference has a different theme, Wilson said. This year, the theme is "shatter," which can be interpreted in many ways, she said.

"It could mean different things to different people," Wilson said, "but some examples (are to) shatter stereotypes, misconceptions, limits, expectations, boundaries, feelings — that type of thing."

Students on the Youth Advisory Council take the lead on coordinating the event, including constructing the application process, as well as passing out applications and posters around their schools to encourage students to apply to speak at the event. The students then choose six speakers after an audition process in which the applicants recite their speeches.

"It is just based on the (applicant's) idea and kind of creativity and delivery of their speech," Wilson said. "We do like to try and have representation from different schools. We also want just a diversity of topics. ... (We) just want those unique ideas that are kind of a mix of personal experiences with something like a teachable moment, and we want you to challenge the audience to think about what you are saying, and be kind of wowed by it."

Community members, including Intel employees and Hillsboro School District staff members, then serve as mentors to the chosen students in preparation for conducting their speech in the spring.

"The day of the event is very amazing," Wilson said. "It's just a very professional, well-done event where you get to see those TED-like talks from students. ... It's a very unique event to be on a stage and have this opportunity. The previous speakers of the event have always said what an amazing opportunity and experience it was."

By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
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