SPEAKER TEAM

conner takehana

Biography

Conner Takehana was born in Hawaii and raised in Tokyo for most of his life. Growing up in this urban context, he has always had an interest in the environment and climate change.


Speech

In his talk, Conner dives into what inspires our behaviors – in particular, highlighting the importance of habits. Inspired by the philosopher Epictetus, Conner argues the habits that drive our everyday lives can help you not only take control of your own life, but the world around you. What’s more, this is something you can accomplish in a mere thirty days. Having adopted this mindset himself, Conner hopes, through this speech, to spread the idea that changing something small about yourself is the best way to change something big about the world.

Seah yu

Biography

Seah Yu is a freshman in high school. She was born in Tokyo, Japan, and has lived there for most of her life. She has been playing the cello for nine years and hopes to play in a professional chamber ensemble or orchestra when she grows up.


Speech

Seah has had a hard time naturally communicating with others her whole life and is often hesitant to speak up in class. Despite being an introvert, she has participated in numerous cello camps, concerts, and competitions. Through playing music with others and expressing herself, she discovered that she can actively express her ideas and show her genuine emotions in front of others. Through her TED talk, Seah hopes to share her revelation that anyone can overcome shyness by expressing themselves through their passions.

JONJON WANG

Biography

JonJon is a Chinese student who was born and brought up in Tokyo, Japan. His international education continues in Adelaide, Australia, where he spent 2 years after elementary school. Some interests of JonJon include reading and writing on action and mystery especially. He also enjoys running and playing basketball, as well as playing piano.


Speech

Throughout his life, JonJon has valued humor to gain attention and approval. He constantly attempted to impress others, leading to the loss of confidence and identity. However, quarantine since the spring of 2020 led JonJon to focus on his own passions, rather than the opinions of others. The underlying theme of JonJon’s talk will be how living to impress others can lead to a loss of self-respect, and focusing on how it is necessary sometimes to distance from others to initiate self-growth.

AMY REEVES

Biography

Amy Reeves is a high school senior. She is Japanese and African-American, and she has lived in Japan her whole life. Amy runs short distances for track but also enjoys creative activities like drawing as well as writing. She hopes to find positivity in all situations and spread that positivity to those around her.


Speech

For the reason that she dislikes confrontation, Amy has often avoided expressing her opinions. However, she realized that the intersection of cultures she stood at made her voice something unique and confrontation wasn’t a necessary part of voicing one’s opinions. Amy gives her talk with the goal to provide others with the motivation to voice their opinions and stand up for those who may have less privilege. How does one voice opinions effectively?

naomi ledell

Biography

Naomi LeDell found her passion for swimming, weightlifting, and she hopes to inspire others to find joy in wellness. She aspires to be the best athlete she can be, so she spends her time independently researching topics in biomedical science such as sports medicine and dietetics.


Speech

Unfortunately, she found that there isn't one right answer for health; what works for some people may not work for others. From this realization, she wanted to give a TED talk about how health isn't one-size-fits-all, her personal experience, and how it started her journey in striving to become a well-informed athlete who can spread awareness about discrepancies in research concerning health.

Adam platek

Biography

Adam Platek is an Israeli high school student at the American School In Japan. Adam was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Since last year, Adam has developed a new passion for fitness, specifically bodybuilding.


Speech

In his speech, Adam discusses his past experiences on being an overweight kid and how that has impacted his mental health. Adam dives into how he safely lost 22 kg in 11 months without developing an eating disorder. Adam refers to his starting point in his fitness journey, his growth, his minor setbacks, and how all these situations helped him grow as a person. The main components of Adams’s speech include working out and running, the importance of safe calorie deficit in a weight loss journey, and how humans can still eat and lose weight.

shuly zuo

Biography

Shuly is a senior this year and has been at ASIJ since third grade. Before moving to Tokyo, she lived in New York. Shuly is half Japanese, half Chinese, and enjoys playing soccer and cooking. In her free time, she likes listening to music and watching movies on Netflix.


Speech

Over the past year, Shuly has struggled with an internal dilemma and the COVID-19 lockdown gave her a lot of time to reflect on herself. After a year, she finally came to the decision that she’s not going to college. It was a decision that required so much thinking and courage and made her feel hopeless. Through this process, she learned to stop being controlled by the fear of judgment and to listen to her heart. In her TED Talk, she will explain how although she felt distant from other people at first, she later found the strength to conquer an enormous barrier in her life.

marine savoure

Biography

Marine is a senior in her fourth year at ASIJ. Prior to that, she lived in the DC area, though she is originally from France. Marine’s interests usually depend on her mood, ranging from gymnastics to Youtube documentaries to art. Her favorite pastime is any form of storytelling, whether as a viewer, reader, or as a creator.


Speech

Last year, as part of the ASIJ IMPACT program, Marine wrote and illustrated a children’s book about the power of seeing from another’s perspective. This experience turned out to be much harder than anticipated. While the technical aspects of this project were tenuous, she found that her greatest obstacle was none other than herself and the little pessimistic voice at the back of her head. Throughout her project, Marine discovered several strategies that helped surpass the obstacles her inner voice set for herself. As she believes we all deal with our inner critics at some point in our lives, she hopes to share what she’s learned in her TED talk.