Speaking to the World
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Child Prodigy & Education Advocate
Since age seven, Adora Svitak has been drumming up excitement about reading and writing, speaking at venues like the Wisconsin State Reading Association Convention, the National Center for Family Literacy Conference in Florida, and the Reading Tree Book Festival in Hong Kong. Diane Sawyer called her “a tiny literary giant” on Good Morning America. Read More >
Now fourteen, Svitak has authored three books and taught over 400 schools and classrooms worldwide via video conferencing and in-person visits. In February 2011, she received the NEA Foundation’s Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education, an honor previously bestowed on luminaries like Bill Clinton and Jane Goodall.
As a passionate advocate for youth voice, particularly in education, Svitak’s audience includes teachers and adults as well as students; she shares her “kid’s eye view” on numerous issues as a guest blogger for The Huffington Post and speaker at education conferences worldwide. In February 2010, Svitak presented at TED, becoming the youngest ever person to do so. She is also the curator of the student-led TEDxRedmond conference.
Adora Svitak champions a wide variety of causes, including literacy, student voice, and fighting world hunger (as a Youth Representative for the United Nations’ World Food Program). Years of writing, teaching, and giving speeches might seem like enough for anyone, but Svitak has maintained that she doesn’t plan on retiring soon. This teenager still has decades to go. Read Less ^
Think of "young people in the 21st century" and what comes to mind? For many people, probably a series of words (perhaps thanks to personal experience as well as pop culture) such as: heartless, apathetic, or "slacktivists.” In this thought-provoking presentation, Adora Svitak powerfully demonstrates that young people transcend this dichotomy time and time again when they're given the chance to be represented and empowered. Providing examples of peers who are changing the global story, she emphasizes the necessity of youth voice from the classroom to the boardroom, and explains that the innovative spirit of young people may be our most precious natural resource.
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