“Wandering Through High School”
Dov Factor is a sophomore who is involved as a leader of his Jewish youth group, plays baseball for Mountain View, and is an active member of the community. His talk, “How to live your life more like a Ted Talk,” follows his mindset towards where we devote our time as high schoolers, to academics, to extracurriculars, to sports. From his personal experience, he discusses how high schoolers can navigate internal and external motivation, and how to balance our academic and passionate pursuits.
“Be Happy, Really”
Katherine Shok is a junior at MVHS. Katherine loves running, old books, coffee, and Ryan Reynolds. Her talk titled “Be Happy, Really” will discuss if Gen Z is happy, the complexity of happiness, and how her generation can really achieve it.
“Are You Experienced?”
Madi Hamilton, a junior at MVHS, takes a holistic approach to life by involving herself in the cross country and track team, Dance Spectrum, Environmental Club, and Spartan Dance Club. Attending Coastal Studies for Girls (CSG), a marine science and leadership semester school in Maine as a sophomore, broadened her horizons. After seeing the positive effect CSG had on her life, Madi, in her speech, will be advocating for the integration of experiential education into the US schooling system.
“The Importance of Foreign Language Education”
Zach is a sophomore at Mountain View High School, and is a member of the swim team, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, and Marching band, and enjoys playing trumpet and cooking in his free time. In his talk, he will advocate for the importance of world languages in education and how they improve our understanding of other cultures in an increasingly globalized world.
“Combatting Nationalism by Loving America”
Naya Chang is a junior at MVHS, an experience she surprisingly enjoys. She likes to #SupportTheArts by watching performances, attending museums, and listening to podcasts, and she makes art sculptures and dance pieces that could be called creative or just plain weird. Someday, Naya would like to teach US history, and for the time being, she’s excited to talk about having pride in America without being pegged a nationalist.
“Redefining Entitlement for Our Generation”
Olivia is a senior at Mountain View. She spends her time running the local streets with the cross country team, singing in MVHS’s very own A Cappella Choir, directing the Drama Llamas, and saving the Earth with Environmental Club. She hopes to pursue a future career in Biology and will talk your ear off about her four lovely cats. In her talk, Olivia will be discussing entitlement in her generation and how “Gen Y” can change their understanding of the word and subsequently their mindsets to take advantage of the individualistic culture into which they were born.
“Civil Justice: The promise of America”
Julia R. Wilson leads OneJustice’s innovation work to bring life-changing legal help to those in need by transforming the civil legal aid system. OneJustice’s current program priorities include building strong private-public partnerships to increase pro bono services and supporting the nonprofit management skills of legal services leaders and boards of directors. Ms. Wilson started her legal career in 1998 providing direct legal services to low-income children and families at the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, including as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and as Legal Aid’s inaugural Pro Bono Director. She then served as Executive Director of the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC) before becoming OneJustice’s CEO in 2007. Ms. Wilson received a 2017 Leadership Award from the James Irvine Foundation, was named one of the 2012 Top 100 Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal for her leadership at OneJustice, and received a 2010 CLAY (California Lawyer of the Year) Award from California Lawyer magazine. She is proud to serve on the Board of Directors of Equal Justice Works and BoardSource. Her current work at OneJustice focuses on applying innovation practices and design thinking to the thorny problem of how to expand civil legal aid to reach the millions of Californians suffering from legal barriers to basic needs.
“Healing the Divide”
Kern Beare is a former vice president of communications for a large technology firm in Silicon Valley, CA. After leaving the corporate world in 2005, he co-founded Global Mindshift, a non-profit offering online facilitated workshops on the essential skills we need to survive and thrive in today’s interconnected and interdependent world. In 2009 Kern brought both his corporate and non-profit experience to FeelGood—a college youth leadership program—joining them as director of education and strategic communications. In 2015, he and his FeelGood colleagues launched Crew 2030—now called the Enlight Collaborative—a non-profit initiative serving organizations focused on youth engagement. In 2017 Kern founded Pop the Bubble, an initiative to help heal our current national divide. As part of that initiative he travels the country leading workshops on the art and science of dialogue. Kern and his wife Amy live in Mountain View, CA and have two grown sons.
“Find What You Like to Do”
Rukmini earned a PhD in EE from Boston University, and worked in the speech recognition and natural language processing space for almost 10 years at BBN Technologies and Nuance. Moving to Yahoo in 2005, she was enlisted into machine learning for search advertising – to improve online revenue and user experience. She tested the first Hadoop grid on Yahoo while building out distributed machine learning for modeling user clicks. Rukmini joined Microsoft in 2010 to build prototypes of personal assistants using advanced conversational understanding, but moved back to search advertising in 2012. Shw now runs a fast paced and innovative sciences and infrastructure team, committed to making the Bing advertising product better. The team manages algorithmic components of the search advertising stack, from core NLP efforts for query and ad understanding, to machine learning of user and advertiser signals to incorporate into an ad auction, to running the online auction itself. At home in Los Altos California, she is surrounded by a loving family with her spouse Subbu Balakrishnan and two high schoolers, Anand and Janvi, at MVHS.
“Music is Identity”
Reign LaFreniere is an 18 year old musician, actor, and film director attending the San Francisco Asawa School of the Arts for filmmaking. All his life he has worked towards his artistic dreams and visions, and has overcome bullying and judgement that hindered those dreams. He now is finishing up his first EP, Taking Back Winter, after 3 years of musical exploration.
“The Blessings and Curses of Being a Woman in Tech”
Marion Schleifer is 28 years old and lives in Zurich, Switzerland. Schleifer did her Bachelor in Multilingual Communication and her Master in Business Administration, and has work experience in both fields. She then decided to learn to program with self study, an internship and a Master in Software Engineering. Schleifer is now working as a Software Developer. When she started working in the tech industry, she soon realized that gender diversity is a large issue. She has never worked with a female developer until recently. Schleifer decided to take action on the issue and co-founded a free weekly programming course for women. Additionally, she co-founded Google’s Women Techmakers in Switzerland to provide a platform for women in tech and to attract new women to the tech industry.