2013 Speaker Line Up!
Anika Larsen is a seventeen-year-old High School student, artist, and positive thinker. Her interpretation of the world in which she dwells translates into a continual illustration through mediums that have changed and morphed as frequently as her own physical growth as a young woman. From pen to ink and music to lyrics, her most recent passion takes place from behind a lens. Currently an exhibitor and staff member for the online magazine Crest Independent, Anika’s ultimate goal is to tell a story through her photographs. She aims to compel one to “think outside the box” when viewing her work, sparking an inward interpretation and emotion for the deeper meaning. In the fall of 2014, Anika will embark upon her college education and plans to study art and the infinite possibilities of her creative being.
Mun Jen Ng
Mun Jen Ng is an artist, product designer and Illustrator. He has designed many things for companies such as Oakley, DKNY and Micheal Kors. In the first grade he drew a picture of Clifford the Big Red Dog. At that moment he knew he wanted to draw all his life. He went on to study Product Design at Pratt in New York where he graduated with honors. His work has let him design better products for the military, auto racing, and the fashion world. In his spare time, he can be found listening to comedy podcasts. He loves improv, and everything associated with it.
Vamsi Mokkapati has been delving into the world of music ever since he was young. To fuel his interest, he has been learning Indian classical music on the keyboard for over ten years. Because of his curiosity to learn different cultures and styles of music, he has learned Western classical music on the violin, in addition to music theory and composition. He regularly performs through association with several local cultural music academies, and through his school orchestra. Last year, he organized a benefit concert of Indian classical music in Irvine to raise money for Families Forward, a community organization. A senior from Mission Viejo High School, Vamsi also enjoys building and programming robots, solving puzzles, sleeping, and pondering intriguing mysteries, such as why the world exists, and why he can’t get more sleep.
Staphany Hou is a jack-of-all-trades, master of some. Involved in a plethora of activities, from literary research and Orange County Math Circle to tennis and volunteer work, she enjoys being an insider of many circles. From a young age, Staphany was unable to settle on just one activity. Instead, she has learned that trying different things, being a part of numerous groups, and meeting all kinds of experts is the best way to discover what kind of a person she wants to become. In her free time, Staphany is a writer, a reader, a thinker, a dreamer, and a shopper. She loves to name her stuffed animals, look for perfect diction in perfectly constructed poetry, and read sentences that make her shudder in awe and enjoyment. She hopes to one day become a Renaissance woman. Staphany is a senior at University High School in Irvine, California.
M.C.Kenzy and DTomp
M.C.D.T: M.C.Kenzy & DTomp are 17 year old recording artists from Southern California who specialize in Hip Hop, Rap, Trap, Dubstep, and EDM (Electric Dance Music). D Tomp is the DJ, sound engineer, and producer. M.C. Kenzy writes lyrics and raps. They are working on the release of their first album with the Ronnie King, who helped produce 3 of Tupac’s albums and 1 of Snoop Dog’s. He also plays keyboard for the band Pepper. He is helping engineer M.C.D.T.’s sick new trap sounds, making the beat clap and the bass bump. They’ll showcase their new single Mind The Gap, created specifically for TEDxYouth@BommerCanyon. Fresh beats, fresh lyrics, and fresh music just for you! D TOMP’s bass will knock you off your seat. M.C. Kenzy’ll mind the gap between the seat you just got knocked off of and the stage! Hope you ready to get crazy…‘cause M.C.D.T.’s ‘bout to show you whatsup!
Jeff Leksmana wants to start a new media revolution powered by the world's teens. He recently launched 8CAN.ME, an online video competition that incentivizes teens to become more world aware. While developing software for companies such as Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers and Sony he also became involved with partnered youth mentoring organizations as a way of giving back to the community. As a fan of globetrotting to varied places from Cambodia to Colorado, it was on such a trip where his “Aha!” moment came to him to create 8CAN.ME during various TEDx events he attended. Stories from inspired teens brought about his own mission to encourage more teens to explore, create and share their perspectives of what’s going on in the world today. His journey of circling back to TEDx, now as a speaker is proof of the powerful chain reaction of ideas and awareness.
Gabe has received recognition for his work as the youngest member of the SAG Foundation Literary Initiative, BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literary in Schools). He will join First Lady Michelle Obama, Mark Wahlberg and Goldie Hawn in an honorary celebrity charity book www.100makingadifference. The film documentary “Heroes Don’t Wear Capes” highlighting Gabe’s entrepreneurial work will be released October 2013 by Wright Brothers Pictures, and he is partnering with Roma Boots to add literacy to their boot drop advocacy. Gabe recently completed a Kidpreneur pilot aimed to empower youth as entrepreneurs with director Paul Currie and serial entrepreneur Anthony Delmedico. He has been a regular skit actor for Conan O’Brien on TBS, and voiced several Shultz Peanuts characters. He is currently working on a Montessori art book with Blurb Books, inspired by fifteen Art Masters to aid his fundraising efforts. Remaining a kid at heart, Gabe is a proud member of Mensa and John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, plays piano, tennis and any video game he can get his hands on.
Dr Kaveh Azartash graduated from University of California, Irvine in the Biomedical Engineering program. He currently works at Allergan Pharmaceuticals as a scientist working to cure ophthalmological diseases. After work he enjoys recreational readings and developing educational platforms for children in form of a mobile application. Kaveh believes that communication starts with listening and hearing is the basis for listening. Kaveh is currently developing his first mobile application for children below the age of 6 to help preserve their innate auditory system. The motivation for this app was Kaveh’s personal inability to shake his accent when learning a new language. He has thoroughly studied published literature in the field of cognitive science and language acquisition to gain a solid understanding towards the origins of accent. With this platform he is hoping that no other foreign language learner has to suffer trying to pronounce sounds they can no longer discriminate. This app will be launched on November 17th.
Find out more at www.kadho.com
Jake is one of the youngest published inspirational authors at twenty-two-years-old. His book "Into the Wind" is about his journey wandering the world for life's purpose. He travels around the nation speaking anywhere from colleges to elementary schools about his discoveries. His vision is to inspire the younger generation to change the world by finding their passions and making a difference. He also has very long hair.
Jeet Banerjee is a 20 year old serial entrepreneur who is passionate about all things technology. Jeet has launched and built over 50 digital products that include mobile applications, websites, eBooks, courses, and more in just 3 years. Jeet discovered his love for all things entrepreneur at the age of 9, but he didn't fully put it into action until his senior year of high school. Jeet is an avid believer that age is just a number and that success can be achieved at any time. Jeet also lives life by the motto "Be the change you wish to see in the world" and continues to express that through his work.
Vern Breitenbucher is an Editorial and Advertising Photographer with over 30 years behind the camera. At age of 14 he photographed for the Boy Scouts of America and spent the next three summers in their walk-in refrigerator (converted into a dark room) learning to print photos. From there he worked his way through college as a camera repair technician and Photo Assistant, and opened his first studio at the age of 28. Since then, Vern has shot for automotive companies such as Ford, Mercedes, Honda and Toyota; clothing companies: Rusty, Oakley, Paul Frank, Oliver Peoples, etc.; editorial work for magazines like Interview, GQ Russia, WWD, Elle, & Teen Vogue. Along the way, he’s done his best to help his assistants and other young photographers by passing on the information and knowledge he’s learned along the way. Vern lives in Long Beach with his wife (a psychology professor) and two kids.