Challenging the Status Quo

TEDxPaceAcademy Spring 2021

In a world dominated by social and societal norms, challenging the status quo means thinking and leading and acting in stark contrast to those norms. To challenge the status quo is to boldly sail in intellectual directions few (if any) others have attempted to navigate before.

The Lineup

Click on each speaker's headshot to watch their talk

Troy Baker

Troy came to Pace six years ago as the Director of Athletics and varsity girls basketball head coach. He began serving as the Director of Student Life this year, and he will be the Head of Upper School at Breck School in Golden Valley, Minnesota, starting this summer. He received his undergraduate degree from Wright State, his master's from Brown, and his doctorate from Vanderbilt.

View his talk "The Triangle Offense: How Academics, Athletics, and Race Intersect."

Kargil Behl '22

Kargil joined Pace in Pre-First, expecting to be a lifer. After moving with his family to India after fourth grade, Kargil rejoined Pace in eighth grade and has been here ever since. Kargil competes with the math team, runs almost every day for track and cross-country, recreationally plays the guitar, and researches current events in Model UN.

View his talk "Split Worlds: The Dynamics of Multiculturalism."

Jack Brown '21

Jack Brown joined our community in third grade and quickly found an interest in performing arts. He will be attending The New School in Manhattan to study creative writing in the fall. Jack hopes that the audience leaves today with a hint of a new perspective, and he would like to thank Mr. Kaufman and Michael Fu for organizing this event.

View his talk "Self-Incarceration: Intersections of Identity and Social Acceptance."

Carlos Andrés Gómez

Carlos is a Colombian-American poet, speaker, actor, and author of Fractures, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, Hijito, winner of the Broken River Prize, and the memoir, Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood. Carlos is a proud Latinx and father.

View his talk "Eight Lessons from Fatherhood."

Maddie Hale '22

Maddie began at Pace in ninth grade. She enjoys creative outlets such as painting outside of school as well as doing independent research on social justice in the Black community. She would like to thank her parents and friends for always pushing her to her fullest potential.

View her talk "Struggling to Be Perfect: How I Redefined Perfection Academically."

Megan Hardesty '22 and Amalia Haviv '22

Megan entered Pace in fifth grade and is a member of the varsity volleyball team, the varsity basketball team, and the varsity soccer team. She is also the lifestyle editor of the school newspaper. Through last year's Pace Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, she and Amalia Haviv started Triple E Projects, an after-school program for children at Title 1 schools.

Amalia began at Pace in the ninth grade and is active in the ICGL Global Health Council, Covenant House Scholars, Model UN, the ICGL Art & Urban Revitalization Cohort, and Triple E Projects, which she co-founded with Megan Hardesty.

View their talk "Woman Up: How We Fight Against Gender Inequality."

Kristina Smith-Newton

As the founder and president of HYPE, Kristina demonstrates her passion and commitment to serving youth by preparing them for successful futures through STEM-related exposure, opportunities, and careers. Her portfolio of work includes organizations such as Girls Who Code, Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative, Atlanta Bridge Community founded by Coca-Cola, and American Explorers Westside Ambassador Program.

View her talk "I See Me: Why Representation and Cultural Relevancy Matter."