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Southlake Style

Student Spotlight

Feb 01, 2017 10:15AM ● By Editorial Intern f

The secret is out: Southlake is home to some of our nation’s future leaders. This year’s TED talk event, TEDxYouth@Carroll, proved exactly that, as 14 Carroll Senior Dragons converged to share a wide range of stories and insights with their fellow students and the community.

TED is nonprofit group that started hosting speaker conferences in 1984 to promote “ideas worth spreading.” Carroll’s TEDx journey began four years ago, when a student launched the inaugural TEDxYouth event. Ever since then, dozens of students have auditioned each year for the right to speak about the subject matter of their choice. This year’s topics ranged from alien life to stress reduction, and in her second year as a speaker, Paakhi Srivastava honed in on emotional intelligence.

We chatted with the driven and innovative Paakhi to learn more about her talk and her time at Carroll, and it quickly became clear that she has plenty of ideas worth spreading throughout Southlake and beyond.


Southlake Style: So what are some of your favorite subjects in school? What activities are you involved in?


Srivastava: I love math and science, and that’s always where I’ve excelled. I’m on the debate team, and I’ve been president of the Emotional Intelligence Club since my sophomore year.


SS: Tell us more about that.


Srivastava: We’re a group that meets once a week to discuss emotional intelligence, what it means and how it can be applied in different situations in everyday life. I come up with activities based on the different situations we discuss, and we work together to understand emotional intelligence and how we can use it in our everyday lives. Those activities were how I came up with the idea for my TEDx talk this year.


SS: You were also a speaker at last year’s event. How did that happen, and how was your talk different this year?


Srivastava: The organizer was on the debate team as the speech captain, and he told me I should apply to speak! My talk last year was mostly about the idea of emotional intelligence—what it is, examples of it in our society, etc. This year, I talked about “The Not Good Enough Mentality,” which was actually the title of my speech. It was about overcoming the idea that we’re not good enough, which I think is really important for students.


SS: What do you hope the students and other attendees learned from your presentation?


Srivastava: I want people to become more aware of their emotions. There’s a lot of pressure to be the best, so I’m promoting how to manage that stress at the high school, and hopefully extend that into middle school. I hope the parents at the speech took away how to help their students manage manage and deal with stress.


SS:  What did you learn from this process and from the other talks?

Srivastava: This year we had much more of a variety of speeches. We had more applicants, and the subjects ranged from net neutrality to a shooting in Dallas. And because I hosted this year instead of participating, I had to do all of the advertising and administrative work, and that experience helped me realize I want to go down that path in my future career. It was a challenge, but seeing it pay off was so worth it. I enjoyed every speech, because they all showed how much talent the Dragons have.