Host a community event that lifts teen voices



Rashmi Swarup brings a global lens to education. So far, her 30-year education career has spanned 3 countries: India, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. As a TED-Ed Innovative Educator and school system superintendent in Ontario, she is passionate about making a difference in the lives of students as they prepare to become global citizens. “I see TED as a world school where youth and adults teach and learn from each other,” she says.


Educators have a moral imperative to foster an engaging and inclusive school environment. One way to do this is by teaching people how to stop bullying when they see it happening.


‘Be an Upstander, not a Bystander’ was the theme of Rashmi’s project. “The idea was to encourage students to share their ideas and be the voice of change through TED-Ed Clubs in their schools,” says Rashmi. After the number of schools in her area with TED-Ed Clubs tripled from 3 to 9, she decided to host a community event that honored these schools and amplified student voices around social change. “Students, parents and staff came together for an evening of listening to 16 talks from 8 schools,” says Rashmi. The event was called ‘From Voices to Action’, and you can see some of it here.

Below, read Rashmi’s tips on hosting a community event that lifts student voices:

  • DO embrace ambiguity and have faith in the ability of your students.
  • DO reinforce the power of digital storytelling.
  • Do not tell students what to do; let them go on a path of discovery.
  • Do not seek perfection from the students, as they will learn from their own experience.
  • Do not plan too many things as the implementation may not be practical – stay focused on the goal.

Rashmi’s wish for you: “Though the path may not be clear, let your passion, persistence, and commitment guide you to create that synergy and enthusiasm that keeps you going with positive persistence towards the fulfillment of the dream.”

This article is part of the TED-Ed Innovation Project series, which highlights 25+ TED-Ed Innovation Projects designed by educators, for educators, with the support and guidance of the TED-Ed Innovative Educator program. You are welcome to share, duplicate and modify projects under this Creative Commons license to meet the needs of students and teachers. Art credit: Shutterstock.