The Seabury Tides

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The Seabury Tides

The Seabury Tides

Seabury Hall hosts sold out TedX event

Ten students volunteer to speak on their own experiences of resilience
Elena Parente
James Notarangalo speaking at TedX on April 14

Seabury Hall senior Harmony Powers had never seen the TedXYouth event so well attended until this year. The 2024 theme was Resilient Roots, which encapsulates journeys of reliance, chosen by Harmony, who was the director of TedX this year and her advisor, Ms. Quiocho, at the jam-packed A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center.

“The day of went super well, we sold out and I don’t think TedX has ever done that before in the last four years I’ve been working on it,” said Harmony last week. 

She believes that it is important to empower students to share their ideas by giving them the opportunity of talking in TedX. 

“I really like hearing all the speakers and I learn a lot from them,” said Harmony, a senior at who has been a part of TedX since she was a freshman. “All of the speakers this year were awesome and super inspirational.” 

This one-day, TedX event has been on Harmony’s mind since the end of her junior year. Since September, Sydney Rebugio, the marketing lead, and Caitlyn Smith-Ryland, the co-organizer along with Harmony have been working together to bring the event to life.

Harmony’s initial inspiration of the theme spurred from the devastating brush fires in August on Maui. Harmony admits that the most difficult part of running the event was trying to communicate with such a large group of people. From the speakers of the event, student volunteers, to different sponsors and speaking coaches, she had to arrange meet times and oversaw that everyone was prepared for the big day. 

“But I definitely didn’t do it alone, I had help from Sydney Rebugio and Caitlyn Smith-Ryland and overall it was a success!”

(Left to right) 2024 TedX director Harmony Powers , co-organizer Caitlyn Smith-Ryland, and marketing lead Sydney Rebugio pose for a group photo on February 5
(Elena Parente)

One of the ten speakers, James Notarangalo, a junior at Seabury, has never done public speaking before in his career but was inspired to participate in TedX this year for the first time.

“Originally I didn’t know what the theme was, [however] speaking in public is a really important skill and TedX is a really good way to do that,” James said. “As soon as I found out the theme was Resilient Roots, I thought it was a perfect way to share my story while also working on public speaking.” 

Speaking to a sold out audience made him a little nervous, according to James, but after a minute of speaking he got more comfortable and was able to deliver a 10-minute speech. He talked about overcoming his knee injury that he acquired during a soccer game earlier last year. He initially tore his lateral meniscus but faced complications and had to go through four separate surgeries to treat his extensive health issues.

James has been working during physical therapy to restore his knee to full health so he is able to play soccer again. His speech reflects this and his feelings while being unable to play his sport. 

 “A couple people have told me after my injury that I could definitely help a lot of people by just telling them my story,” said James. “Going through a really tough time with my knee injury, TedX gave me a time to think about all I went through and all I’ve learned through it.” 

Along with James, 6th grader Malia Cole, freshman Aurora Zotoway, freshman Makaela Cooper, senior Max McManus, 7th grader Chelsea Hedquist, and senior Gia Salzer made speeches about their own personal experiences with resilience and how they have overcome their challenges. 

Seabury invited students from other schools on Maui to also be involved in the TedX event, including two students from Kamehameha Schools Maui. Hopefully next year, the outreach will be larger and will inspire more students to come and talk. 

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About the Contributor
Kainani Drexler
Kainani Drexler, Staff Writer / Photographer
Kainani Drexler is a junior at Seabury Hall, she has a deep passion for photography and videography. She has participated in many jobs where she provided her photographer and videographer services. She is excited to capture sporting events along with student life here at Seabury.