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Grand Falls-Windsor youth to address TedxYouth event

Public speaking can be nerve wrecking for a person of any age but 12-year-old Ella Blackmore from Grand Falls-Windsor is filled with confidence as she prepares to speak at a TedxYouth talk in St. John’s this month.

Ella Blackmore, a junior high student from Grand Falls-Windsor, will be the youngest of seven speakers giving a talk at the TedX Youth event in St. Johns, May 12.

A Ted talk is a short presentation a topic they are knowledgeable on and passionate about with the point of educating others on their topic.

“(It’s) giving your opinion and knowledge on a certain subject,” said Blackmore.

Blackmore’s seven-minute talk will be on coding, something that is very important in her life.

“Coding is giving a piece of technology instructions…,” she explained. “Coding is for all sorts of things around us, things you use everyday like Facebook, Google, Twitter, that all has coding, anything on the tv, video games.”

Her interest in coding started when she was around 10-years-old. She asked for a laptop and two coding books for Christmas, “but I cannot remember what had originated, why I wanted to code. I think it was largely a part of my teacher in that grade who knew code and who was the technology teacher. I was very impressed by it,” she said.

The TedxYouth talk theme is ‘different ways of thinking’ and Blackmore’s talk will be about coding but also why it should be taught in schools - a different way of thinking about the school system.

 “A lot of the world around us uses coding; it’s very vital to the world,” said Blackmore.

She will be the youngest speaker at the TedXYouth talk, with the next youngest being 17-year-old. Others  are in their 20’s.

Blackmore said she was always interested in giving a Ted talk, but she never expected it to happen so soon. One day when her mom was online she found a link to an application process for the St. Johns event.

“I’ve always wanted to do a Ted talk; I’ve always been very ambitious in stuff related to coding and technology,” said Blackmore.

Blackmore was excited and “a bit nervous” when she found out she would be one of seven speakers at the May event .

“My mom was not home at the time, she had gone out to get groceries, so I had to wait five minutes to tell her. I didn’t want to text her because that would ruin it,” she said.

Not only will she be the youngest speaker at the event this will also be her first time engaging in public speaking. She’ll have an audience of 180 people made up mostly of 12 to 18 year olds.

Filled with mostly excitement and a little bit of nerves, Blackmore will take the stage to on May 12 at the DF Cook Recital Hall in the Memorial University Music Building.

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