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January 28, 2020

Pleasanton, CA

The Speakers

Student Speaker

Madeline D.

Title of Talk - Failure: Friend or Foe?

Madeline Day is currently a junior at Amador Valley. She is the public forum captain for Amador Valley Speech and Debate and has been participating in debate since the eighth grade with her twin brother, who is her debate partner. Madeline is not only passionate about helping others find their voice with public speaking, but also in other areas. She is the co-founder of the Amador Valley Biology Club and has helped create a biology tutoring program for kids during access. In her free time, she loves to handcraft polymer clay charms, binge watch cheesy movies, and plan out her future travels.

Welcome to the Stage

TEDxAmadorValleyHigh is a TEDxYouth event designed to highlight AVHS students and local, innovative thinkers that
​have ideas worth spreading. 

Dr. Tammy Ma

Title of Talk - Bringing the Stars to Earth

Dr. Tammy Ma is an experimental laser-plasma physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (so like Leonard from The Big Bang Theory, except with a much, much bigger laser). She grew up in Fremont, before moving to SoCal to complete her undergraduate at Caltech in Aerospace Engineering, then received her M.S. and Ph.D. both from UC San Diego. Using the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world’s largest, most energetic laser, Tammy’s work now includes making miniature stars in the laboratory in pursuit of thermonuclear fusion as a clean, limitless source of energy for all mankind. Tammy was the recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE) in 2016, and currently advises the U.S. Department of Energy on fusion energy and plasma research.

Adult Speaker

Student Speaker

Ekaterina O.

Title of Talk - The Real Math

Ekaterina Osipova is a junior that has interests in mathematics, physics, and music. She is a little bit of math and physics nerd, dreaming to study the universe one day. Ekaterina is a member of the Math Club and a Vice President of the STEP UP club which goal is to support girls in STEAM and, especially, in Physics. She believes that any science is just another form of art, which she delivers in her TED Talk.

Darnell Roberson

Title of Talk - What's in your bag?

Amador valley high school class of 13'. Recent alumni of UCLA where he competed in track and field and attained his B.A. Inspired by seeing others tap into their light to maximize their growth.

Adult Speaker

Student Speaker

Anya G. 

Title of Talk - My Story to Yours: Understanding Mental Health

Anya is currently a junior at Amador Valley. She's been interested in public speaking as well as other performance arts. She is currently co-captain of the debate team, and am a mental health activist in different blogs and sites made for people who are currently struggling to talk to those who have been through what they’re going through and help them.

Denise Bridges

Title of Talk - Hunger in the Tri-Valley

Denise oversees fundraising and donor relations for Open Heart Kitchen. Denise has experience in fundraising, marketing and event planning for various nonprofits including The Health Trust, Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Most recently, she was the development officer at the Bankhead Theater where she was responsible for sponsorships, grants, and major gifts. She graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in International Development Studies. Passionate about women's issues and closing the diversity gap in nonprofit leadership, she serves on the board of directors for Tri-Valley Haven and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Golden Gate chapter.

Adult Speaker

Student Speaker

David A.

Title of Talk - Balancing the System

David A. is a senior with big aspirations for life. As a tennis player competing at the international level with an interest in engineering, he hopes to integrate his knowledge in both fields to find ways to optimize athletic performance. Going through high school, David dove into a difficult course load, dedicating countless sleepless nights and several summers with very little return on investment. He hopes to encourage others not to make the same errors and instead discover and pursue their own passions in order to maximize their future success.

Jill Buck, M.S., Ed.

Title of Talk - How Teens Can Combat Climate Change

In 2002, Jill founded the Go Green Initiative, a 501©3 that is the global leader in environmental education, operating in all 50 U.S. states, 73 countries, and on 5 continents. In 2004, Jill established Buck Consulting, which helps businesses “go green”, and achieve profitability through sustainability. Jill is the host of “Go Green Radio,” a weekly program on the U.S.’s largest internet talk radio station, www.VoiceAmerica.com, and is co-author of the book, 47 Things You Can Do For The Environment. Jill Buck is an alumna of the University of Illinois, and after graduation, was commissioned a Naval Officer. She holds a Masters of Science in Education.

Adult Speaker

Student Speaker

David Q.

Title of Talk - How to "not choke" in high stress situations

David Qiu, an enthusiastic tennis player and a big fan of human psychology. With both parents working in the medical field, David has always been interested in the interaction between the human mind and the body. During his free time, David is a tennis coach for youth and he is always trying to find the best way to encourage his students to be mentally tough in competitions.


Jamie Nunez

Title of Talk - Redefining Student Engagement  One "Like" at a Time

For over 17 years, Jamie has redefined education practices by designing creative opportunities for educators to connect with their students. As a former high school teacher, school administrator, and after school director, Jamie has trained thousands of educators on student engagement in digital spaces. The common threads across his practice are the belief that learning is most powerful when it’s founded on a child's experience outside of the classroom, and student engagement is most impactful when it fosters their digital identity. When not working, Jamie can be found in public places teaching his 5-year-old daughter how to give compliments to strangers. 

Adult Speaker

Student Speaker

Sarah B.

Title of Talk - How a positive attitude allowed me to grow from hardship

Sarah Banholzer is a senior at Amador Valley. She is the Editor-in-Chief of AmadorValleyToday.org, Amador's online news website, and the president of the Amador Valley Make-A-Wish Club. When Sarah is not doing homework, she enjoys watching her favorite show, The Office, spending time with her friends, coaching volleyball, and listening to all her favorite albums on her record player. 


At age 10 Sarah created her organization, "Be Strong and Give Back Happiness", where she organizes annual fundraisers to raise money for UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. With the help of her friends and family, Sarah has now raised over $70,000 for the hospital. Sarah's true passion is giving back and she hopes to continue pursuing her passion for years to come.

Dr. Irena Keller

Title of Talk -  Who Needs Sleep?

Dr. Keller has a masters in education from Israel and PhD in Psychology from UC Berkeley. She has done research on sleep for a number of years and has taught at UC Berkeley, San Jose State and other places. Currently, she is a Psychology faculty at Las Positas College in Livermore.

Adult Speaker



Period 1

  • David Qiu - "How to "Not Choke" in High Stress Situations"

  • Tom Hall

  • Darnell Roberson - "What's in your Bag?"

Period 2

  • Madeline Day - "Failure: Friend or Foe?"

  • Lauryn Hedges

  • Dr. Irena Keller - "Who Needs Sleep?"

Period 3

  • Anya Gewirtz - "My Story to Yours: Understanding Mental Health"

  • Lucy Dou

  • Jamie Nunez - "Redefining Student Engagement one 'Like' at a Time"

Period 4

  • Sarah Banholzer - "How a Positive Attitude Allowed Me to Grow from Hardship"

  • Creatures of Impulse

  • Denise Bridges - "Hunger in the Tri-Valley"

Period 5

  • Kate Osipova - "The Real Math"

  • Daniel Mah

  • Dr. Tammy Ma - "Bringing the Stars to Earth"

Period 6

  • David Alber - "Balancing the System"

  • Myla Gilbert, Bianca Villanueva

  • Jill Buck - "How Teens Can Combat Climate Change"

© 2020 by AVHS Library

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.

What is TEDx?: In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxAmadorValleyHigh where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxAmadorValleyHigh event, TED Talk video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.