By ADEDAYO PERKOVICH, age 11

TED graphic designer and competitive gamer Lilian Chen wants to inspire girls to play video games. PHOTO: Dian Lofton/TED

TED graphic designer and competitive gamer Lilian Chen wants to inspire girls to play video games. PHOTO: Dian Lofton/TED

On November 15, 2014, I saw hundreds of eager teens roaming around the Brooklyn Museum, ready to be inspired. But this time it wasn’t just by the art. The museum was hosting the TEDYouth conference, a gathering of 400 middle and high schoolers that “is serving both as a source of knowledge and inspiration for youth around the globe.” In order to attend the conference, students filled out an application explaining why they wanted to participate, and some made art projects or websites. There was a full day of talks around the theme of “worlds imagined.”

I enjoyed the talk by artist and author Nathan W. Pyle called “Basic Tips and Etiquette.” He told the audience to “Act Like A Car,” which means to stay in your lane, keep your eyes on the road, and NOT on your cellphone, and make sure you don’t miss your soulmate while walking down the block.

Lexicographer Erin McKean is an advocate for creativity, especially when it comes to words, and she encourages young adults to make their own. McKean shared six ways for future lexicographers to add to their own dictionaries. She reminded us that “friend” used to be just a noun until “we verbed it.”

<em>IndyKids</em> reporter Adedayo Perkovich covering the TedYouth Conference in Brooklyn. PHOTO: Scott Luxor
IndyKids reporter Adedayo Perkovich covering the TedYouth Conference in Brooklyn. PHOTO: Scott Luxor

I spoke to Lilian Chen, (also known as “Milktea”), a graphic designer at TED and a competitive gamer who wants to inspire girls to play video games. “I think it’s important that we erase older stereotypes—anything that has to do with ‘it’s a boys club only’—we’ve got to break down those barriers,” she said.

Another interesting talk was by Tahir Hemphill, who presented “Hip Hop, Visualized,” where audience members viewed a map he created of all of the places hip hop artists have written about in their lyrics.

Miranda, a ninth-grade attendee, said, “The conference was so diverse in terms of the different subjects, and it inspired me to do what I want to do for my career and not to be afraid to try new things.” Excitement was in the air at the Brooklyn Museum, and it was so fun to be part of it.


Lexicographer: a person who puts together dictionaries