Idaho teen lands on the TEDx Talk stage

Timberline High School senior Kate Simonds wants a world where creative collaboration happens between adults and students. Her idea and message is now being delivered on a national stage after she was selected to speak with TEDx Talk in January.

“It was an amazing experience, especially for a high school student,” Kate said.

The 17-year-old was the youngest speaker out of eight with an audience of 100 people, at the Boise Contemporary Theatre.

The TEDx Program is designed to help communities, organizations and individuals spark conversation and connection through local TED-like experiences. Kate went through an application process and wrote a 150-word TED Talk pitch. She was selected from 150 other applicants.

“It was a huge honor that I was selected,” she said.

Her topic was “I’m Seventeen” and defends her idea of a world of creative collaboration between adults and students.

“Growing up I never really got to have the voice that a lot of us really want,” Kate said. “There is a gap between adults and students that exists for no apparent reason and it’s really troubling to me.”

Part of her message is to get adults to listen and respect student ideas and a world where students respect and listen to their own ideas.

“I’m so passionate about this because of the work I have done with a local Boise non-profit, One Stone. It’s a student-run organization where we are active in the community and our voices are heard within the organization,” she said.

Kate is in her last months of senior year and is gearing up for the next chapter in her life. She has applied to 13 universities and is still waiting to hear back from all of them. She wants to study communications and political science.

Watch Kate’s TEDx Talk. 


Andrew Reed

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