SCRANTON — Children may start bake sales as temporary ventures to earn money for new bikes or video games, but the bake sale started by Izzy DeFlice, 12, helps fund the community organizations that assisted Izzy and her mother Mary-Pat in 2005 when the two were homeless in Scranton.
Izzy, a student at West Side Intermediate School, is one of five presenters and three performers taking part in [email protected] 2016, a one-day conference that starts 6 p.m. Sept. 9 at West Scranton High School, 1201 Luzerne St. As its name implies, the conference participants are either talking about youth-related topics or are young people themselves; each focusing on the event’s main theme of fear and fascination.
“We’re going to be talking about my fascination with starting a business and my mother’s fear and how it came true when we were homeless,” Izzy said. “We’re bringing in a prop, a grey suitcase. It was part of our story of homelessness, it represents the grey case that we lived out of for awhile.”
Mary-Pat said her daughter founded Izzy’s Sweets Bake Sale in May 2015 and soon started speaking to crowds about social reform and the family’s experience with homelessness. Izzy admitted she gets excited when she talks about her Sept. 9 engagement; according to [email protected] 2016 organizer Monica Simon, the feeling is mutual.
“We picked her because she has an amazing story and is basically an entrepreneur and just, like, really hard-working,” Simon said. “She’s also very sweet, so her story resonated with us.”
Simon said she and co-organizer Jessica Meoni applied for a license to use the TED name because the organization’s events are about spreading ideas. TED, or Technology Entertainment Design, is a globally-recognized name in conferences with multiple seminars reaching millions of views on the organization’s YouTube channel. If the name-brand recognition brings style to the event, Simon and Meoni chose the fear and fascination theme to bring substance.
“We were thinking fear and fascination goes hand-in-hand because a lot of people are interested in why we’re afraid of something. It certainly becomes a little bit of a fascination,” Simon said. “I think personally, with me, I have an anxiety disorder so for the longest time I couldn’t figure out why I was kind of scared of some of these very irrational things I’m afraid of. That almost became a fascination for me, whether that was a good thing or a bad thing.”
[email protected] speakers will talk about building a board game to help the visually impaired learn coding, producing songs using bully-inspired journal entries and spending their summer vacation doing humanitarian work in India. Tickets are still available at TEDxYouthScranton.com for $20, but the fear of missing out on a fascinating talk from a 12-year-old about her non-profit is a logical one.
Limited seats remain.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
IF YOU GO
What: [email protected], a youth-focused night of informational speakers and performers built around a theme of fear and fascination.
When: 6 p.m. Sept. 9. Registration begins at 5 p.m.
Where: West Scranton High School, 1201 Luzerne St., Scranton
How Much: $20. Tickets are available at TEDxYouthScranton.com.
Who: Izzy DeFlice, baker and non-profit founder. Kedar Narayan, board game inventor. Helena Albert, singer and anti-bullying speaker. Riley Gallagher, human rights advocate. Dr. Lauren Hazzouri, psychologist. Jessica Torres, spoken word performer. Mason Crawford, poet. Shannon Hrobak Sennefelder, relationship coach.