Four Youth Activists To Watch From TEDxTeen - FULL
These young women caught our eye this weekend at the 2012 TEDxTeen conference, an annual event that brings youth together to discuss social activism and entrepreneurship.
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Causes: Kristen promotes awareness about Huntington's disease through her documentary, 'Twitch', and encourages environmental sustainability through her organization, the Green Tiger Campaign.
When eighteen-year-old Kristen lost her mother to Huntington's disease, she made it her mission to initiate a national conversation about the illness. Her documentary 'Twitch,' which is currently in production, follows her personal story of undergoing genetic testing for Huntington's. "If the world starts talking about Huntington's and people are inspired to learn more, they may donate to the research and get involved in clinical trials," she said. Kristen is also the founder of the Green Tiger Campaign, an environmental sustainability club with a teen-run garden that harvests vegetables for a local food kitchen. She's instilled leadership skills in over 300 students and donated about 300 bags of organic produce in the past four years.
Photo: Kristen speaking at TEDxTeen 2012. Courtesy of John-Paul Teutonico.
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Causes: As a volunteer for the non-profit organization Invisible Children, Natalie worked to stop the abuse and abduction of children in Uganda.
Filmmaker Natalie Warne volunteered in the film department of Invisible Children, a non-profit that uses film and social action to bring awareness to the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony's rebel war in Central Africa. The organization has received recent attention after a video exposing Kony's abuse of children went viral. Natalie helped organize "The Rescue," an event in 100 cities worldwide that informed people about the Ugandan civil war. She has also traveled to Rwanda to work as a production assistant, and Natalie's philanthropic efforts have even landed her on the Oprah Winfrey show.
Photo: Natalie presenting at TEDxTeen 2012. Courtesy of John-Paul Teutonico.
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Causes: Krystyn has worked with the U.S. Embassy to inspire and empower youth across the world through performing magic.
This twenty-one-year-old UCLA student is an accomplished magician and motivational speaker. The U.S. State Department recently sent Krystyn to Thailand to perform and address young people about identifying and pursuing their passions. "When you're following what you're truly passionate about, that's when you're going to be the most productive, excited, and effective in the world," she said. "Magic naturally inspires us to wonder. It inspires us to ask questions, reevaluate what's familiar in the world, and explore our interests."
Photo: Krystyn performing a trick at TEDxTeen 2012. Courtesy of John-Paul Teutonico.
Hometown: Cupertino, CA
Causes: Angela used her scientific research to propose a potential cure for cancer.
High school senior Angela Zhang won the 2011 national Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology for her revolutionary cancer research, earning a check for $100,000. Her idea involves using nanotechnology to therapeutically target tumors. This California teen scientist also plans fundraisers for the Monta Vista Interact Club, a local community service organization, and works to raise awareness about Hepatitis C.
Photo: Angela speaking at TEDxTeen 2012. Courtesy of John-Paul Teutonico.
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