ROB RABENA - "Future of Exercise and Sport Training"
Rob currently serves as Ascent’s Director of Sports Performance. At Ascent, Rob and his team work with all levels of athletes from middle school, high school, college and up to 50 professional baseball players in a given offseason. Rob is also an Adjunct Professor at Widener University in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and Cabrini University for undergraduate students in Exercise Science. Rob is also a Fitness Consultant for Altis Technologies and has published research on baseball conditioning in 2019.
SALWA SULIEMAN - "Preventing the Next Pandemic"
Dr. Salwa Sulieman is a Pediatric Infectious Diseases physician at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware. She originates from Little Rock, AR and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She then went on to osteopathic medical school training in Kansas City and stayed there to complete her general pediatric residency and chief resident year at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She moved to the east coast and did her Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 2011-2014. Salwa’s first faculty position was back in Kansas City at Children’s Mercy, where she worked to create a second Infectious Diseases service focused solely on Transplant and Immunocompromised patients. She returned to the Philadelphia area in January 2017, when she started work in the Infectious Diseases division at Nemours. Her interests include infections and vaccinations in the immune compromised host. Aside from her clinical duties, she is an active member of the bone marrow and solid organ transplant teams locally and serves on national committees focused on infections in pediatric transplant patients. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been a medical consultant for the Unionville Chadds Ford School District.
SAMANTHA DIVER ('23) - "A Hope for Help: Finding the Resources"
Samantha is a junior at Unionville High School and has been a student in the district for her entire educational career. She is also on the Unionville Girls Golf Team and is a member of the National Honor Society. Additionally, she participates in Four Diamonds Mini Thon and the Kennett Consolidated After-the-Bell program. Samantha has gone on a long journey with her mental health and wants to encourage others to find help. Her speech focuses on teenage mental health resources as well as when to find help. She hopes to help even just one person by providing vital information on mental health resources.
JT CAPPERELLA ('23) - "Our Planet's Fight for Life: An Uphill Battle"
JT is a current sophomore at Unionville High School. In school, JT is a part of Active Minds, SHOC, student council, Unionville Post, and the school soccer team. Outside of school he enjoys basketball, playing soccer for his club team, coaching little league soccer, and skiing. Through TEDx he hopes to push his limits and deliver a message he truly believes in.
DARENA HO ('24) - "Call It What It Is"
Darena Ho is a current sophomore at Unionville High School. Growing up, she has always found a passion for social issues, especially issues regarding race, gender, and the importance of mental health. She exemplifies her passion through her work on BoDEI, her school’s board of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and works to enact systemic change at her school. She believes that over-glamorization causes many problems in a plethora of fields and needs to be addressed properly.
ELLA TROIANO ('23) - "Finding Sustainability and Stability in Vintage Fashion"
Ella Troiano is an 11th-grade National Honors Society student at Unionville High School. She is the third-time captain of the UHS cheerleading team and was recently selected to travel to Hawaii for an All-American Varsity cheerleading performance in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Day Parade. She has been working for 2 years at Malena’s Vintage Boutique, a small business in West Chester, PA. She enjoys vintage fashion, vintage cars, and art history. She hopes to travel the world to broaden her knowledge and experience other cultures and languages.
CLAY BUDICACK ('25) - "Why Trans Kids Across the World Desperately Need More Support Than They are Given"
Clay Budicak is a transgender student from Kennett Square, PA. He is a strong LGBTQ+ rights activist and hopes to inspire others to make the world a better place. Clay is also a youth mental health advocate and wants to spread awareness on the mental and emotional struggles of LGBTQ+ teens with a goal of creating a more supportive environment within schools and homes across the world. He loves participating in musical activities and is a proud member of his school’s marching band and drumline.
FELICITY CHEN ('24) - "The Oversimplification of Social Groups"
Felicity is a sophomore at Unionville High School, interested in the way social groupings are formed and how they affect reform. She is an orator on the speech and debate team, an opinion’s reporter for her school’s newspaper, a cellist, and a member of her school’s Future Business Leaders of America team. In her talk, she addresses the ineffective approach that is adopted when approaching social justice reform. She hopes to encourage a more diversified way of thinking when approaching social reform.
FRANCILLE ZHUANG ('24) - "Appropriating Cultural Appropriation"
Francille is a senior at Unionville High School. As an officer of the National Art Honors Society, she can be found after school working on art-related community projects. She also often illustrates for the Unionville Post. In addition, she enjoys learning random trivia for the UHS Academic Team. There has been a lot of discussion about cultural appropriation in the media; however, Francille finds that many conversations lack nuance. She hopes to bring more insight around such a controversial term.
LUCAS BALLENGER ('24) - "On the Pursuit of Philosophy"
Lucas is a sophomore at Unionville High School. He currently co-chairs the school’s Philosophy Club where he gives lectures and facilitates discussions. Outside of school, Lucas enjoys a wide spectrum of reading topics such as history, fiction, and science. In addition, Lucas spends a good portion of his reading time performing a more in-depth exploration of philosophy with his current focus being ancient philosophy. Other favorite activities include drawing, writing, film, traveling to different countries, and listening to music from different eras. Through his TEDxUnionvilleHS Talk, Lucas hopes to inspire others to explore philosophy as a vital part of both individual and collective human activity.