Before iReTron’s journey began, I would like to thank Vertical Response for hosting this contest and supporting teens for pioneering their own business. Funding 4000 dollars to the first place winner along with a free trip to TEDxTeen in New York is a very bold step that should be acknowledged.
Everything for me started with a script, a camera, and two friends. After I found The Next Teen Tycoon contest on my twitter feed, I immediately called 3 friends to assist me in this project.
Mostafa Rohaninejad and I held main roles in the two minute film while Eugene Chiou shot the video. Additional thanks goes to Lauren Lin for contributing behind the scenes and Tony Palma for allowing us to use the sound room in the Media-Arts building.
Because there was a two-minute limit for the video, I had to display the uniqueness of iReTron.com in very simple terms.
We emphasized that electronics are used by everyone and everyday. In addition, new models come out every few months, but people often do not know how to get rid of old gadgets, thus resulting in millions simply throwing their old cell phones into the trash. Due to the amount of e-waste collected over the past few years, the problem has now grown to be an e-waste crisis. iReTron.com not only demonstrates the perfect way to solve this crisis, it offers a rewarding process as well. In the video, we clearly show how iReTron.com works and the benefits of working with iReTron.com.
On March 12th, we had won first place in the contest and began to plan the trip to New York to attend TEDxTeen.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDxTeen is a program of local, self- organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event.
On March 31st, iReTron.com was invited to a meeting and book signing with renown authors such as Siobhan Vivian, Elizabeth Eulberg, Libba Bray, and Jeff Hirsch. We all shared inspirations and experiences and I explained my story and how iReTron.com has been making a difference in the world.
Before the auditorium even opened, I had already met people from all across the country. As I shared my story and the power of iReTron.com, adults and teenagers alike asked questions and took pictures.
Once the auditorium opened, the audience sat down as Monique Coleman stepped on stage to host the show. The theme of this year’s TEDxTeen was “the knowledge of not knowing”. She explained that by staying hungry for new ideas is what keeps the drive within people.
The day flew on by as I spoke to many people about iReTron.com and the impact it has made in communities while hearing about their stories as well. So many teenagers just like myself making a difference in their communities inspired me to work harder for myself. The speakers included artists from Africa to mathematically gifted kids who taught college students at Princeton. Having lunch with each of these people was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. From the six hours at TEDxTeen, I had learned that it was more than just a place to hear stories. It was a place to share your own experiences, to appreciate, to inspire others, and to be inspired. The community in TEDxTeen was truly one of a kind.