So, this was a pretty big deal for me. During the Mindful Kids Peace Summit, TEDxYouth@KC reached out to invite me to give a #TEDxYouthKC Talk! Their theme was “Make a Scene,” and they were looking for teenage speakers who had important messages, and who were standing up for something. I was 14 at the time (1 week later I turned 15), and I was so excited. My TEDxTalk was about getting mindful & social emotion learning programs into our education system, why mental health education & coping with stress & emotions is so important to stop violence, & using our voice to make a positive difference in the world. I wrote multiple drafts of the Talk, practiced day and night for 6 weeks, and worked hard for it to be an impactful TEDx. And I was still nervous. But because of my mindfulness training, I was able to breathe and deliver it well (I hope you agree).
I met lots of nice people, the volunteers that helped that day, the car drivers that picked us up from the airport and hotel, the camera operators, sound engineers, editors, directors, and of course, the audience. During intermission, so many people came up to me to introduce themselves, tell me their stories about dealing with anxiety, depression, bullying, or having mindful programs in their schools, and thanked me for using my voice to make this world safer. There was one little girl who ran up to me and hugged me, and I realized again that I really am helping people, and this work is so important and worthwhile. I’m grateful for that.
Giving a TEDxTalk was really a great experience, and a great honor. Thank you to all who made it possible, helped me study, encouraged me, routed for me, and guided me.
Mindfulness in Education to Lower Stress and Violence
Children today have never known a world without school shootings, stress, and anxiety. While some advocate gun laws and public policy — teenager Adam Avin founded Wuf Shanti, to teach children and teens mindfulness and social emotional learning, necessary life skills that help create a path to peace by helping kids grow up to be kind, healthy, well-functioning, and empathetic adults.
Click here to watch:
As I say in my Talk: statistics for anxiety, depression, anger, bullying, suicide, and homicide have risen greatly in the past few years among minors. We must teach how to cope with emotions and stress in school as part of the core curriculums, and how to interact with others. These are essential life skills. They are necessary to get a good job, keep a good job, be happy, healthy, and to navigate life. It’s up to us, the next generation, to make this world better by making mental health a priority and stopping the violence so we can all live in peace.
Here are some pics from the dress rehearsal and the actual Talk:
Adam Avin is the founder of Wuf Shanti Children’s Wellness Foundation, the Kids Association for Mindfulness in Education, the Partners for Peace interview series, and co-founder of the International Mindful Kids Peace Summit, a five-day online summit for teens in middle and high schools all over the world. More than 50 experts spoke about topics focusing on mental health and preventing violence. The summit was mentioned in CASEL’s (Collaborative Association of Social Emotional Learning) Newsletter, Psychology Today, goop Magazine, Tiger Woods Foundation Newsletter, Maroon 5’s FB, the Peace Alliance Forum, & more.
More about Wuf Shanti: www.wufshanti.com/about
More about the Mindful Kids Peace Summit: www.mindfulkidspeacesummit.com