Full text of Kate Simonds, senior at Timberline High School, on I’m Seventeen at TEDxBoise conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: MP3 – I’m 17 by Kate Simonds at TEDxBoise
Hi everyone. My name is Kate Simonds, and I’m 17. Upon hearing me say this or seeing the title of this talk, “I’m 17”, I’m sure you’re thinking: since she’s on the stage, she must have done something incredible that she can teach me about.
Maybe she — I don’t know, what did she do to deserve a TED talk? Did she accidentally make millions from investing in a successful startup company at age 15?
Maybe she cured some disease accidentally while interning in a lab or maybe she received a perfect score on her SATs at the age of 7.
Did I do any of those things? No.
I haven’t done any of these things unfortunately so here’s the reason why I’m talking today: When I took this stage, you all assumed that I’m some child genius or some accredited creator because I’m 17. I must have done something worthy of your attention.
Yet, the only qualification to being a TED speaker is to have an idea. An idea you think is worth spreading. And that’s the problem.
Because I’m 17 and I’m on this stage, you’re only respecting me because I’m on this stage. Maybe it’s because you like my extremely high heels but I don’t think that’s the reason why I should have your respect. I don’t think that I should have to be a high school millionaire or to have cured an epidemic to be worth listening to.