by Conor Green
On May 20, the non-profit organization, Chicago Youth Talks, held their Summer 2017 session at Alliance Francaise de Chicago in which numerous young minds were showcased. Founded in 2014, Chicago Youth Talks is a completely student-run organization that specializes in providing a platform for people of all age groups and backgrounds to share their ideas and research on a specific topic of choice. All profits raised by Chicago Youth Talks go directly to Working In the Schools which strives to promote literacy in the younger generations of Chicago students. The overall mission for Chicago Youth Talks is to promote creative learning, inspire students to share their passions, and to help improve education in Chicago.
At their most recent event, speakers spoke on a wide range of topics, each of which were very different from another, but as equally interesting. The first speaker was Jordan Dahiya, who is currently a junior at Maine South High School. The topic she chose to speak on was implicit bias, which is something we encounter everyday even if we do not realize it. Implicit bias is when we have attitudes towards people or associate stereotypes with them without our conscious knowledge. In her presentation, Dahiya used white privilege as an example. She also offered the statistic that 53% of Americans have a “not me” mentality, but in reality, we are all guilty of implicitly judging someone every now and then. In her closing remarks, Dahiya instructed the audience that “We control if we can change this. It is our duty to recognize areas of our own lives that are impacted by implicit bias.”
The next presentation came from Northside’s very own, Kayla Huang, Adv. 005. Her topic was antibiotic resistance and its downfalls. She started off by telling her own personal story with antibiotic resistance. After contracting a serious illness as a child, she was prescribed antibiotics from a doctor. However, the antibiotics were not effective because she had already built up such a large tolerance for antibiotics. This led to the focal point of her argument: the more we use antibiotics, the more our bodies will be immune to them. It is important to not take them for a common cold because it will diminish their benefits when they are actually needed to fight a serious illness.
The last speaker was Enrique Eguiguren, who is currently a student at Whitney Young High School. He differentiated himself from the first two presenters by choosing a more jovial, comedic topic. In 15 minutes, Eguiguren thoroughly put into words his hatred for Jimmy Fallon. Eguiguren, who fancies himself as a connoisseur of comedy, claims that Fallon represents everything that is wrong with comedy. Fallon was infamous for breaking character during his stint on Saturday Night Live, which Eguiguren says was “mildly funny at first, but painstakingly horrible as it became a regular occurrence.” The last portion of his presentation focused on how “lazy” the format of The Tonight Show is. By the end of the speech, I was amazed, and a little disturbed, by how much hate one person could hold for Jimmy Fallon.
Chicago Youth Talks is a great venue for young and curious minds to share their opinions, no matter how weird or offbeat it may be. If you are interested in participating in Chicago Youth Talks, reach out to its administrators via its Facebook page.