2024 TEDxSantaCatalinaSchool is all about 'Creating Connections'

The 2024 TEDxSantaCatalinaSchool event explored the power of connection within ourselves, our communities, and society at large.

The event, held March 20 in Mary Johnson Recital Hall, was built around the theme of “Creating Connections.” It was organized and presented by the student-run TEDxSCS club, consisting of 22 students under the leadership of club heads Grace ’25 and Sofia ’25.

The six-speaker lineup included two Catalina students and an alumna.

Lucy Yu ’17 talked about “Finding Your Rizz,” or charisma. She highlighted the power of networking and how saying “yes” to opportunities can open up doors you didn’t even know were there. Lucy told stories of how, through successful networking, she became student body president at Cal Poly Pomona and landed jobs working for the presidents of Lucasfilm and CBS News. She offered four networking tips: push yourself out of your comfort zone, wear clothes that give you confidence, recognize your “one shot,” and find a similarity with the person you are connecting with. Addressing the introverts out there, she provided additional advice: figure out your why, network one-on-one, find a networking partner, and do whatever you need to charge your batteries.

Anna ’25 joined her grandfather, Mike Marotta Jr., to share how music opened doors for their family and more closely connected them with the local community. Marotta, an accordion player like his grandfather and father, recounted the musical trajectory of his family, who not only entertained Monterey Peninsula residents but became well-known and respected business owners. Now as Anna joins their ranks, singing with her grandfather at local events, she attributes their place in the community to one thing: “The reason for the music was to bring people together,” she said.

Coco ’25 offered a talk called “Prayer and Cultural Insights.” She spoke about how she was introduced to prayer at Santa Catalina and how she went from “overvaluing the literal meaning of prayer” to viewing the practice as a way to alleviate stress. She connected her journey to her Chinese culture, in which “prayer far exceeds the rituals, and often gets in touch with one’s place in the universe.” Coco shared Chinese poetry that described physical, emotional, and intellectual realms, showing how that interconnectedness reflected her new understanding of prayer.

Additional speakers were Dr. Laura Rubio, a scholar of forced migration who emphasized the need to connect with the most “vulnerable of the vulnerable,” and Dr. Catherine Schweikert, a psychophysiologist who spoke about compassion and its positive physical effects on the whole body.

Coco '25

Anna '25 and her grandfather, Mike Marotta Jr.

TEDxSCS co-heads Grace '25 and Sofia '25

Dr. Laura Rubio

Dr. Catherine Schweikert

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