CCA students hope to inspire change at Tedx-like event


A committee comprised of Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) students is hoping to change its peers’ perspectives on how they can influence their communities through an April 21 event inspired by Tedx Youth talks.

The committee of 33 members, also known as student leaders, has been working since the fall to present the first-ever “CCA Unite” event. Previously, the school had hosted Tedx Youth events -- which include a host of speakers aimed toward an audience of children or teenagers -- but ran into licensing issues.

“[Our event] follows the principles of a Tedx Youth event, except it’s branded under CCA,” explained Amber Wang, a 14-year-old freshman and student leader at CCA.

Panelists at the event, to be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Canyon Crest Academy Proscenium Theatre, 5951 Village Center Loop Road in San Diego, include:

  • Sonja Bruzauskas, concert singer and recitalist
  • Lex Gillette, a globally-recognized Paralympic track and field athlete who competes for Team USA
  • Annie Reilly, a CCA senior and volunteer yoga instructor
  • Avrey Larson, a CCA student who is passionate about getting students involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and has participated in several related prestigious programs.
  • Fred Lynch, the city-wide coordinator for Rachel’s Challenge San Diego

Amber, a Carmel Valley resident, said the goal for the event is to encourage students to learn their potential of positively influencing a community.
“I just want them to learn that they should be motivated to make changes and believe in themselves and youth around them,” she said. “Participating in this event will probably change your outlook on your own abilities and how you’ll be able to make change in your community.”

Amber said she believed CCA -- which she referred to as a liberal place with gender-neutral bathrooms and that is accepting of people of all sexualities -- is an ideal place for this type of event.

“As a school that is so liberal and accepting of everyone, it was only natural for us to create this event,” she said.

To sign up for the free event and for more information, visit