MRS. DARLENE BRIGANCE - "Lessons Life Has Taught Me"
Although born and raised in the Midwest, Mrs. Darlene Brigance moved to Delaware and began teaching at Unionville High School in 2002. She will begin my twenty-fifth year teaching in the fall and am grateful to teach two subjects she finds incredibly interesting and relevant and to teach motivated students who are open and receptive to learning meaningful ideas. Her daughter, Alexis, is a sophomore in high school and her son, Zane, is a freshman. The years with them have flown, and as she is treasuring the moments she still has them under my wing, she am also excited to see them find their passions and make their own journeys. Mrs. Brigance is blessed to have very good friends who have shown me how to be a good person. She is also an admitted political junkie and hopes to enter the political realm in some meaningful way in the near future. But for now, she is just trying to live more in the moment, discover new experiences, learn, and stay true to herself. Mrs. Brigance’s upbringing, personal experiences, and years in the classroom, with their inherent successes and failures, have taught her valuable lessons. She invites you to consider if any of part of her journey can perhaps inspire you and/or challenge how you see the world and your place in it.
CATHERINE ODOM ('20) - "Brag About It"
Catherine Odom is fascinated by the story of humanity: where we are now and how we got here, as well as how we communicate that story. Currently a junior at Unionville High School, this curiosity has driven her study of the scientific, psychological, and personal aspects of history and current events and has helped develop her love of journalism. As the Opinions section editor at Unionville’s newspaper, The Indian Post, and an orator on the National Speech and Debate Circuit, she is passionate about communicating stories, messages, and unique points-of-view. In her TEDx talk, she will discuss the suprising benefits of bragging, along with the dangers of excessive or false modesty, especially for women.
ERICA ZHAO ('21) - "#10YearChallenge"
Erica Zhao is a sophomore at Unionville High School. She has dedicated her time to serving the community and helping others. She is currently a member of the Speech and Debate team, Volleyball team, SHOC, and has a passion for art. Inspired by those around her and personal experience, she hopes to lessen the constant competition in high school and encourage a shift in focus towards a more "carpe diem" mentality. In her TEDx talk, Erica hopes to show the audience the beauty of life in the moment and in the long run without consistently worrying about high school.
MADDIE MARTIN ('19) - "Blending In and Innocence: The Autistic Teenage Girl"
Madeline "Maddie" Martin is a 17 year-old Senior at Unionville High School. She is passionate about the arts, particularly with painting and music. She also enjoys being in the annual school musicals. For her speech, Maddie will discuss about her experiences of being a female autistic student and how different the experience really is compared to what other people believe it is. She will describe and discuss the stereotypes and treatment she has faced with her school life. Maddie is very passionate about her different experience and wants others to know what it it's like to be in her shoes.
Aarohi Nadkarni ('21) - "Staying Social"
Aarohi Nadkarni is inspired by the those around her who continue to stay social through face-to-face interaction. As a sophomore at Unionville High School, she has spent time communicating both on a screen and off a screen. She is currently a member of student council, musical groups at the school, and the Unionville Speech and Debate team and has seen the impact sharing messages without social media has had on people. In her TEDx talk, she will be speaking about how social media is widely used as a personal journal that documents the wellbeing of someone at different times. She hopes to draw attention to the obligation that everyone has to notice signs of someone not doing well on the “diary” social media is becoming.
WES SAUNDERS ('19) - "The Dangers of High School Social Conformity"
Wes Saunders is inspired by those around him who have the courage to ignore their detractors. Wes, who is currently a senior at Unionville High School, has dedicated his time to both service to the community and personal interests. Involved in student council, theatre, band, sports, and many other activities, he has been exposed to all of the social circles in his high school. In his TEDx talk, he hoped to share his experience regarding his reaction to the pressures of social conformity that everyone teenager faces, and the benefits he has reaped by not caving in to such pressures. He hopes to show the audience just how much can be achieved through resisting the urge to conform to the societal norms of the ever-so-judgemental culture of high school.
ANDY LI ('22) - "Why Mental Disorders Are On the Rise"
Andy Li has made it his goal to reach as many people as he can to inspire and support those who need it. He plays baseball, sings in choir, and participates in speech and debate at Unionville High School. This year, he started the Depression and Anxiety Awareness Club at his school, in order to raise awareness for these disorders and to raise money to donate to national organizations that are dedicated to directly helping as many people as they can. He will be discussing these disorders and the effect that they have had in this world.
KRITI GUPTA ('21) - "Finding an Identity as a First-Generation Immigrant"
Kriti Gupta is a Sophomore at Unionville High School and a member of the school’s newspaper and speech and debate team. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new worlds through reading and writing. Kriti, born in California, is a first-generation American whose parents were born in India. Because of this, she has been able to experience some of the best parts of two very different cultures. In her TED talk, she will discuss a conflict that many first-generation Americans face in finding their cultural identity between multiple cultures. Through this talk, she hopes to make the task of finding a cultural identity just a little less daunting.