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TEDxRansomEvergladesSchool 2021 honed in on the theme "Breaking Barriers", and encompassed talks that delved into gratitude, barriers to communication, living with mental illness, among other topics.

Dr. Matthew helmers

Unbreakable Barriers and the Death Drive

“What if there are barriers we don’t want to break?” Dr. Helmers invites us to contemplate the current world of social distancing, mask-wearing and the protection of the all-important skin-barrier. We begin by recognizing the many ways in which we derive our sense of self merely from the preservation of our "personal bubble," a process of ego-formation made famous by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. But, this talk takes us back to an opposite and often forgotten impulse also proposed by Freud, the poorly named “Death Drive.” Alternately called psychasthenia or the instinct toward renunciation, this impulse pushes us to move beyond the confined barriers of our skin, and to explore the ways in which our sense-of-self is bound up with the wider environment. By balancing the instinct toward formation with the Death Drive, we might be able to experience new forms of connection with others, the world and ourselves. 

Elanah Arnold and
Claudia O'Sullivan

Flip Phones: Gratitude Calling

Amidst the chaos that was the coronavirus pandemic, Elanah Arnold and Claudia O'Sullivan, two 17-year-olds from Miami, felt the need to take agency over something in their lives. Their plan of action was to lock away their smartphones, and trade them in for flip phones. Through this, they discovered the importance of looking beyond the distractions of a screen and actively practicing gratitude for the things in front of them. Watch their comedic take on their summer experience and learn about the lessons they took away from their experiment. 

Lucia Rose Dahn

The Place Where Anything Is Possible

Stories are constantly shaping our society, from the tales we hear when we are children, to the narratives we see presented on social media. In this TEDx talk, Lucia Rose Dahn discusses how people are both consciously, and unconsciously, influenced by the stories that make up our world. The stories we tell, as well as those we receive, have the power to shape our future. Personal and societal narratives can make the world feel small and restrain our curiosity and openness to new possibilities. Lucia highlights how authors have broken barriers, challenging traditional roles and expectations in their work. Her presentation invites you to recognize the infinite creative potential in writing, and to consider how you can use storytelling to embrace alternative possibilities. She encourages you to discover and utilize your imagination and creative voice for self-expression and empowerment.

Daniella Sanchez

Breaking up with the old, Catching up
with the new

After overcoming personal mental barriers and struggles, Daniella Sanchez learned how to completely transform her life. Throughout her talk she shares her methodology to distance oneself from the barriers that alienate us from living a fuller life. She redefines what defines personal self-worth, and teaches us how to uncover passion and start actively embodying the person you were always meant to be. 

Yuhan Liu

Learn Computer Science? No, Learn to Create Art Using Code

Discouraged by stereotypical associations in STEM, women are turning away from the field of computer science and its exciting innovations. Yuhan Liu describes a new approach to inspiring girls to code: introducing coding as a new process to create art. Follow Liu’s journey with the nonprofit organization Code/Art as it empowers numerous art teachers to bring coding lessons into the art class. 

Alexandra Henriquez

Cracking Down the Communication Complication

Just about everything we do sends a message. Whether we realize it or not, we, as humans, are constantly communicating through writing, speech, art, or even body language. Yet, even though communication is a core part of the human experience ... we still struggle with it. Alexandra Henriquez, a junior at Ransom Everglades and a leader on her school’s speech and debate team, explores why and how we communicate, the barriers we, as a nation and global community, are currently facing when it comes to the communication process, what effects they are having, and ultimately how we can look into solving them in the future to foster an effective system of connection and conversation.  

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