An Interview with Past TEDxKids@BC Speaker Erina Park
Erina Park is one of our past TEDxKids@BC speakers. After taking a social justice course, she learned about the importance of promoting inclusiveness no matter ability or disability. With her passion behind inclusiveness she hopes to spread empathy and understanding among individuals who are not usually seen. Be sure to check out Erina’s TEDxKids@BC talk “Disabling Ableism” and find out below with what she’s been up to since then!
How would you describe your experience as a speaker?
I was trembling more after my speech from the fact that I finally managed to pull off what I’ve prepared months for. I think being in the spotlight on stage really helped because I wasn’t able to see hundreds of eyes staring right at me. It was an unforgettable experience. I have so many wonderful individuals to thank for their help and encouragement.
Why did you apply to be a speaker?
One of my biggest goals while starting up Best Buddies at my school was to spread the word about ableism in our society. When applications for TEDxKids@BC rolled around, I thought it was the perfect platform to reach out to people who are passionate about making a change in our world.
How has life changed since TEDxKids@BC last year?
I’ve been able to make presentations in front of people much easily! Aside from that, I’ve had a super positive experience with Best Buddies because lots of people were getting involved and we were able to hold many different events. My teacher just recently organized the first ever district-wide track meet for students with special needs in my city. Being able to volunteer for that event was extraordinary.
What advice would you give to the 2014 upcoming speakers?
Be confident because the audience feels just as uneasy as you do when you’re nervous up on stage.
This year’s theme is sharing stories around a campfire If you were a speaker again what would you speak about?
If I were a speaker again, I would speak about my personal experiences camping outdoors. The theme would be that I’m not a very outdoorsy person and I’ve learned that in quite a hard way.
About the picture: Erina planting a tree near her school