Our favorite quotes from TEDxPasadenaWomen RISE

TEDxPasadena Women RISE
Photos by Molly O’Keeffe

We had an amazing event on Sept. 30 filled with powerful stories from our 13 speakers!

Here are some of our favorite quotes from everyone who took the stage:

“I’m here today, starting my 90th year, telling you I am exactly where I want to be . . . I’m here to challenge you to embrace your falls, because only then can you experience that really empowering word: #RISE.” – Joyce Ruygrok






“Intentionally expose yourself to different ideas and different people with the express purpose of learning. You do not know what you think you do.” – Carri Twigg






“Children do, in fact, make better choices for themselves and their friends when they’re given the knowledge and the opportunity. It’s up to us to educate them on how to do this in this new world. So now that we all know this emerging science, how do we all come together to make a difference in this very real issue of technology addiction? The answer is simply awareness and education. We have the knowledge we need to #RISE above this.” – Dr. Lisa Strohman




“One day I’m going to tell my children the story of a country that was once so poor that the emperor ruled that each family could only have one child, and a great sadness came over the land. I don’t know the ending to that story. 

But I will lie awake, listening to the sound of their breathing—the most peaceful and frightening sound in the world.” – Mei Fong





“I’m not ill on the outside. I’m ill on the inside. What I have is one of the biggest killers in the world today—I have mental illness. At the end of the day, although the things we go through may differ, we all have battles to fight. It’s what we do with the things that happen to us that can make all of the difference. I’m Amanda Southworth. I’m 15 years old. I’m a junior in high school. And I’m still alive.” – Amanda Southworth





“When I see America, I see freedom. I see a role model for democracy. I see potential for growth. I am standing here before you as an immigrant . . . I am living proof that anybody can rise to be happy and successful in a new life chapter when they feel embraced by those around them. By embracing and empowering their new members, communities will rise as well.” – Amara Barroeta





“Rise up and take action—that’s what’s going to make the difference in the end.” – Steve Elkins






“My ancestors helped build a country on a social and economic foundation that was cracked and fractured and profoundly unstable from the start. And so I turn to wonder . . . I wonder what would happen if people of privilege like me committed to finding the truth of our nation’s racial past? Together we would need to listen deeply; set aside our assumptions, judgments, and fears; honor other people’s realities; and work to rectify past wrongs. I wonder what a country like that would look like? I’m not sure. Let’s find out.” – Jenny Watts




“It’s up to you how you decide to love nature in your city. If we can do it here in Los Angeles, imagine what it will be like when we do it all over the world? Everyone in their cities loving nature just a little bit more.” – Lila Higgins






“That’s the real danger of unexamined behavior: the belief that we’re treating everyone equally when, in reality, we’re not. Have the courage to examine your own behavior. Ask yourself: Is this how I would handle this interaction if this person looked like me? Or if they didn’t?” – Valerie Alexander





“Allowing my natural response of grief to teach me its life-giving lessons may very well be the way in which I—as a nurse—can #RISE up and move forward with purposeful endurance in my profession.” – Hui-Wen (Alina) Sato






“Everyone has a story. While you may not know the particulars of their struggles or their achievements or even of their privilege. There is one thing you do know: they allowed themselves to be vulnerable with a stranger, and that’s what I’ve done with you today.” – Ryan Pfluger





“You decide the life you want to have for yourself. Don’t live a life afraid and unanswered because you haven’t jumped. In order to rise, you will have to jump.” – Grace Killelea

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