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No Boundaries is proud to bring TEDxYouth@Okoboji to Okoboji for the first time, showcasing our speakers' ideas worth spreading. This event is put on entirely by youth, for youth, and with youth.

The initial plan for this event was to be live this May; however, due to COVID-19, the team had to make some changes. The new plan is to record all speakers on June 19th and then hold a watch party on November 6th in conjunction with TEDxOkoboji to view the recorded talks and then eventually share them with the world online.


Caleb Miller

The Dangers of Discomfort

We’re conditioned to believe that discomfort is bad and comfort is good, but discomfort (properly channeled) can result in personal development. Using examples from military service, cross-country running, and even making donuts, this talk provides teens with strategies for finding value in unpleasant moments.

Caleb Miller has just completed his junior year at Okoboji High School. He has had a variety of experiences that have shaped his outlook on life. Caleb has been in both comfortable and uncomfortable situations. He chooses to live life on the wild side and share how important it is to do things out of your comfort zone. He is surely one to keep the audience on their toes!

Carson Miller

A Third Option: The Importance of Rural Students

Today’s rural students are presented with two options: stay in their small towns forever, or leave and never go back. This talk is about showing students a third option. I grew up in small town Iowa and left at 16 to travel and study and explore. It wasn’t until I left that I realized the importance of my rural upbringing. I had experiences and opinions that were important in informing policy and advocating for rural America. In this talk I will share personal stories, failings, and epiphanies in an attempt to show why the world needs rural students.

Carson Miller grew up in small-town Iowa, but she spent her childhood dreaming of ways to escape it. Then she attended the United World College in New Mexico, she met people from around the world and learned how important it is to be proud of where you are from. Carson has had many opportunities to travel the world, but she always comes back to Iowa. Now she studies International Agriculture and Rural Development at Cornell University. In her TED Talk she will discuss her passion for empowering rural students to build rural communities.


Nadine Foster

Hope Amidst the Ashes

Every person struggles within their lifetime, we all have trials and tribulations, and I believe that all it takes is one, positive, influential person to change the trajectory of an individual’s life when given the opportunity.

Nadine Foster is an 18 year old student at Iowa Lakes Community College, but what you may not realize is that she is also currently within the foster care system; she plans on bringing her perspective to light with her talk. Nadine likes to write poetry, play guitar, create pottery, and most of all, help others.

Lexi Duffy

A New Kind of Addiction


Addictions can take a toll on your life, but what if your addiction has the possibility to make a positive impact? What if your addiction is something that shouldn’t be quit entirely? Those who are addicted to achievement, specifically high schoolers, know this all too well. This intriguing talk covers everything from explanations and effects of an achievement addiction, to how one can manage their addiction.

Lexi Duffy has currently completed her sophomore year at Okoboji High School. She has played almost every sport in the book including, cross country and track with her twin sister, and swimming competitively as well.  Lexi also participates in theater, performing in Okoboji High School speech and the musical. Being so involved in a large number of activities, Lexi has sometimes struggled with being addicted to achievement. She plans to share her story with learning to overcome that struggle, and how you can too! 

Chad & Adison

Technology’s Real Superpower

Education and educational technology are often slow to change. Recent changes are promising, but the need for additional change is needed. What if we’ve been approaching education, and technology’s role in it, all wrong? This thought-provoking talk will delve into the history, recent changes, and how we might think differently about education and ed tech.

Adison just finished 8th grade at Okoboji Middle School set to graduate high school in 2024, and Chad is the head of technology at Adel Desoto Minburn and graduated from high school in 1992. They are certified SCUBA divers and have dove in many places, including the Gulf of Mexico. They are both coming together to give a talk on education as a father-daughter duo.

Haley Harms

Waving Through a Window


Life can be viewed in two different perspectives: living in your life and watching life pass you by. One could compare the ladder of the two to the notion of waving through a window. So, how can we avoid being on the other side? It could be argued that all you have to do is try a few new activities.

Haley Harms is 16 years old and has recently finished her sophomore year at Okoboji High School. She decided to explore out of her comfort zone by teaching herself sign language in the 6th grade. In her free time, Haley enjoys reading, dancing, and being on her competitive swim teams.

Shai Markwardt

Embracing Fear

Reflecting back on the past few years, there are two big things that I think about: I have missed out on a lot of things because I was scared, and I am not who I used to be.  I discovered that my personal growth came from intentionally stepping outside of my comfort zone.  But more importantly, I learned that it is never too late to start over.

Shai Markwardt is 17 years old and recently finished her junior year at Spirit Lake High School.  Shai is on the USA kettlebell marathon team. She also enjoys dance, band, music editing, and wants to be a lawyer!  As you can see Shai loves to be involved in lots of activities and through everything her family has really helped her learn how to embrace her fear! 

Lucy Androski

How to parent a teen from a teen’s perspective

A teen’s opinion on parenting from stereotypes and experience. This talk teaches parents about technology, teen emotions, and types of parents, all from a teen’s perspective.

Lucy Androski is 13 years old and just completed her 7th-grade year at Okoboji Middle School. As Lucy is our youngest speaker, she has a unique view on parenting teens. She enjoys music, art, and playing tennis.

Jon Pausley

Knowing and accepting how your wired is essential to understanding and appreciating others

Everyone has a personality; it’s how you are uniquely wired. It is important to understand and accept how you are wired. My talk is about how understanding and accepting yourself is the first step to understanding and appreciating other people.

Jon Pausley lives in Milford and is the executive director at the Okoboji Bible Conference. He has learned a lot about his personality, and it helps him to understand others. His master’s work involved a lot of personality theory and helped him understand the importance of how personality affects your life and others. He has three kids who go to Okoboji Community Schools and he serves on the school board. He also has a 110 lb. chocolate lab.



The TEDxYouth@Okoboji planning team consists of four eighth-grade students, four high school juniors and their community partner, Brad Jungers. 

This group helped organize the first-ever TEDxOkoboji event held last November as part of their No Boundaries project.

Pearson lakes art center
Recording day
June 19h, 2020


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