As the auditorium doors opened, students poured in to listen to speeches about optimizing opportunity. Within the two hour session, the audience witnessed five speeches: three live ones and two videos of previously given TEDx talks. The three live speakers, Archbishop Mitty High School Junior Aditi Chatradhi, software engineer Ben Roytenberg and Director of Engineering Subbu Subramanian, sat in the front row of the auditorium on October 5th waiting to talk about their experiences.
Chatradhi highlighted her journey through founding theCodeMatrix, a nonprofit organization where high school students volunteer to teach kids to think like programmers.
“I was inspired to, hopefully, inspire other people to give back to their community,” Chatradhi said.
The next speaker was Ben Roytenberg, a software engineer at the company StockX, who the officers of TEDxMontaVista discovered through a trending article posted on Facebook.
“I saw this Medium article for Ben [where] he told his whole story and his article blew up,” junior Samheeta Mistry said.
Roytenberg spoke about how he ended up working at StockX, after dropping out of college. He discussed how napkin math, a quick sketch of a business idea, prompted him to begin purchasing exclusive, limited in stock, shoes to resell them.
Finally, the last speaker Dr. Subbu Subramanian, a Director of Engineering at Facebook, talked about how to succeed in life through a simple diagram and a life hack.
After hearing all the speeches, reactions varied: some felt they learned very little, while others were inspired to find their own path and optimize their opportunities.
Junior Tiffany Chen, who fell in the latter group, said, “Hearing [the] stories of what lead [the speakers] to accomplish different things, definitely inspires me to go out and create something that can also help the society.”
As Chatradhi had left the event early, the Friday afternoon TEDx talk ended with the remaining speakers, Roytenberg and Subramanian, receiving loud cheers on stage and question off stage. Once the audience, speakers, and TEDxMontaVista officers cleared out, the auditorium was quiet again, waiting for its next event.