An “eyeopening and inspiring” opportunity through TEDxPasadena’s sponsorship program

Gisselle Reyes was a student at the STEM Academy of Hollywood in 2017 when she stepped foot on the stage at the Huntington Library for TEDxPasadena’s conference that year. She wasn’t one of the speakers, but she stood in front of the audience to recite part of Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” with several other young girls.

It was the most memorable part of last year’s event for her.

It felt really intimidating at first, but I felt like by the time I came up and saw my peers alongside me, I felt like my intimidation went away to the point that I could say my part of the poem to the audience,” she said.

Gisselle Reyes, third from left, was one of our sponsorship recipients for last year’s TEDxPasadena conference.

Gisselle was a recipient of a sponsorship last year through our sponsorship program, which allows girls ages 13 to 18 to attend the event daylong event and hear from all of our speakers for free.

When Gisselle applied for the program, she did so because she felt that it would be an empowering experience and because she wanted to listen to the speeches from all of our speakers.

Her favorite talk came from Valerie Alexander – founder and CEO of Goalkeeper Media, a company that makes communication bots to amplify happiness – who shared “Why We Must Train Our Brains to Expect the Unexpected.”

She said attending 2017: RISE has had a positive impact on her: it shifted her perspective of the world and “has allowed me to see life as a journey that we, as human beings will all live and experience life differently. And even with the similarities that we encounter here and there, we will have different interpretations and meanings.” She added that TEDxPasadena’s sponsorship program was a great opportunity that was eyeopening and inspiring, and one that she believes all young girls should take advantage of.

Gisselle graduated from the STEM Academy of Hollywood this year and will be attending the University of California, Merced in the fall where she will major in public health.

For more information about our sponsorship program and to apply, click here.

To support girls like Gisselle through our sponsorship program, you can purchase partnership tickets and find more information on our partnering page or email

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