The Power Of… Engaging Students


This year’s TEDx Ocala theme was “The Power Of…,” and this sentiment resonated with the dozens of local high school and college students who attended the talks at the College of Central Florida’s Ocala Campus on Nov. 12. 

Between rows of seasoned attendees and community leaders, young students buzzed with energy in their auditorium seats, eagerly taking notes as local and traveling speakers alike shared advice and anecdotes on everything from personal fulfillment to financial freedom. 

Although most of the audience members were return guests, this year’s event saw a surge in student involvement from schools across Marion County. 

Many of the speakers focused their talks on subjects like time management, self-love, mindfulness, motivation and perseverance, all of which struck a chord with the students in attendance.

“It felt like a lot of the topics were curated only for us,” said Vanguard High School student Jazlynn Rosa, who emphasized her appreciation for the event’s diversity and topics. “I liked how a lot of it was focused on self-reflection, anxiety and all the things we would need when we go into adulthood.”

When asked about the benefits of attending TEDx events to students and young adults, another Vanguard High School student, Oyiyechukwu, said, “I really liked hearing all these different perspectives about topics I didn’t really think critically about before.”

“I’ve learned to embrace change,” she added. “I really like boxing myself into little places and sticking with it, but now I know I have to change myself in order for things to change for the better.”

Each year, TEDx Ocala offers a number of scholarship seats to students at the College of Central Florida who express interest in attending, providing feedback on the speakers and participating in fun activities like a photo scavenger hunt. Students are provided with free admission, T-shirts, catered lunch, gourmet snacks and an opportunity to learn.

With only a few CF students in attendance this year, there is certainly space for more college students to attend, participate and engage with the community in the coming year.

Engaging in meaningful conversations about financial health and stress management is crucial for students now, and learning about business management and family organization is perhaps even more important, as those skills are what today’s students will need when they graduate. Events like TEDx also provide students with opportunities to network and meet people who share their passions.