HomesTED talks take a SHIFT


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SHIFT works with Saint Aemilion-Lakeside, a foster care center in Milwaukee for boys and aims to raise awareness for all foster teens.

Students and members of the community gathered in the orchestra room at Homestead High School on Thursday, Mar. 9. to participate in the third annual HomesTED talks. A club at Homestead, Students Helping Impact Foster Teens (SHIFT), hosted an evening of empowering speeches, a raffle and a bake sale. This club works with Saint Aemilian-Lakeside, a foster care center in Milwaukee for boys, and aims to raise awareness for all foster teens.

SHIFT is led by Olivia Hahn and Niki Heidarian, seniors. Vice president Rachel Writz, junior, and Treasurer Stephanie Metzendorf, senior, worked together to plan and run the HomestTed Talks event.

“It was a lot of work, but it was very rewarding. I loved how the community was able to come together to speak about their struggles, passions or whatever else their hearts desired,” Writz said.

The event was modeled after the Ted Talks organization that spreads ideas through powerful talks given by the world’s most inspirational thinkers. HomesTED Talks included nine speakers, including students, teachers, faculty members and Principal Brett Bowers, who discussed a wide range of topics, many including passionate interests and personal experiences. All the participants performed original pieces, relaying messages of importance to them.

Isabella Scaffidi, junior, spoke about the idea of chaos and our desire for perfection which leads to the avoidance of confronting disorder. During her speech, she aimed to be vulnerable and open and encouraged the audience to share their stories and admit to disorder in their own lives.

“I enjoyed speaking because it was such a liberating experience for me. I kept a lot of stuff bottled up and it felt amazing to release it. I just felt really cleansed after and it was a really beautiful experience,” Scaffidi said. 

Mrs. Angelina Cicero, English teacher and Forensics coach, has spoken at all three HomesTED Talks. For her first year, she wrote and performed an original piece along with eight seniors, entitled, “Life is not a Tight Rope Walk.” Last year, her talk was called “Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast,” and this year, she performed an original spoken word poem, entitled, “Be the Reason.”

I always enjoy the opportunity to connect with an audience of students outside the context of a class. I also believe the mission of the event is very important. I am enthusiastic to do anything I can do to help raise awareness regarding the needs of foster children,” Mrs. Cicero said. 

Other students and staff members spoke as well, including Principal Bowers, Mr. Sean Crider, special education teacher and head boys basketball coach, Mr. Larry Hisle, student supervisor, Mrs. Rachel Rauch, English and Journalism teacher; Mrs. Susan Godfrey, physical education teacher, and Zion Bullock and David Willman, seniors. In addition to the performances, there was a bake sale and a raffle with all contributions being donated to SHIFT. The raffle offered goods from Colectivo, Leonardo’s, Starbucks, Glaze, Massage Envy and other places around Mequon.

“This was my first time going to Ted Talks. I really enjoyed the event because I got to hear stories from people that I’ve never met before and/or people I don’t talk to often. I learned so many great life lessons from various people in all different ways. I will definitely be going to the next one,” Amanda Hooks, junior, said. 


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