I have been patiently waiting to share this with you and I am so glad the time has come. Last year, I covered my first TEDx event, A Sense of Wonder. One of the many highlights of the day was a brief but masterful performance by a group of amateur poets culled from the ranks of Nashville area high schools, called Southern Word. Scratch that. These kids are pros.
Normally, speakers aren’t allowed to give more a presentation more than once at a TED event, but these teenagers are so amazing, inspiring and insightful that the organizers brought them back for a repeat, full length performance. I can not begin to tell you how excited the audience was to see them take the stage for a second time. They received two standing ovations, only because the schedule was packed so tightly and run so precisely that there wasn’t time for more. There would’ve been more.
This year’s theme at TEDx Nashville was Impact: Making a Difference, and that’s exactly what Benjamin Smith’s group Southern Word is all about. This program makes a difference in these kids lives, and in turn, they do the same in the lives of others. The words we choose to use are powerful and these kids had grown men welling up with tears.
Meet Mani, Shaun, Alexis:
These three high schoolers only add to my belief that hope is a place that exists deep in our soul, it just needs a little reminder now and then. They certainly stirred mine with words that reveal their maturity and self-awareness, and their awareness of what’s going on in the world. If they are our future leaders, I feel pretty darn good about where we are heading.
Southern Word gives kids like Mani, Shawn, Alexis and scores of others a safe place to express themselves. The organization continues to grow, offering an alternative activities, emersion in the arts, and view of what is possible, building their confidence along the ways. They have mad skills.
Visit their website, donate to the program, make an impact in the life of a child. You won’t regret it.