“There is nothing more beautiful to me than seeing a caring community of people rallying behind a cause to make a difference within the lives of people in their own community,” freshman Amber Holup said during a TEDx event at the Tinley Park Public Library on Oct. 12.
Holup was nominated to speak by the Tinley Park Public Library’s adult program director Susan Bailey, who she got to know when she was in middle school. Bailey liked the idea of having a younger speaker at TEDx to represent the youth and young adults.
Holup’s topic at the TEDx event, “Find Purpose Through Service,” was sculpted by personal experience. In middle school, Holup was bullied and questioned her purpose in life. After becoming involved in her community through serving and planning service projects for her peers, she now finds her purpose through service.
“The truth is, God calls us all to serve others, each differently based on the unique gifts he has given each of us,” Holup said. “Although TEDx talks can only have secular topics, the underlying concept of my speech is based off of the Christian principle of serving others.”
After her TEDx presentation, Holup spoke to a communication classes at her alma-matter, Central Middle School. She delivered her TEDx talk there also and spoke to students about what she learned through preparing for it.
“It was really cool to be able to share an inspiring story to students who walked through the same halls that I did while I was a victim of bullying,” Holup said. “I encouraged them to be a positive force that stands up to the bullies, and most importantly, I challenged them to become a friend to the students who are bullied. They have the power to change someone’s life just by talking to them, including them, or befriending them.”
In Holup’s Intro to Communications class at ONU was another venue Holup had to deliver her speech.
“It was really surprising, yet inspiring to see how someone so young could have such an impact on her community,” sophomore Jessica Ackman said. “She is not being held back by her experiences, but she is using them to teach and uplift others to serve and be kind.”
Holup’s ultimate goal for telling her story is to inspire the community to serve those around them by embracing their talents, making the choice to make an effort, and taking action to change the lives around them.
–Danielle Snuckel, Life & Culture Editor