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Event brings presenters together for ‘ideas worth spreading’

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Courtesy photo

IDAHO FALLS – On Saturday March 10, a group of 12 speakers will gather at the Colonial Theater in Idaho Falls to present “ideas worth spreading.”

The phrase “ideas worth spreading” is the tagline for TEDx Idaho Falls.

TEDx Idaho Falls is the local, independent version of TED, a global nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas and information through short, thought-provoking presentations.

Heidi Bluemel, the executive producer of the event’s 5th year in Idaho Falls, says she loves the process and concept of TEDx.

“Seeing people’s commitment and their amazing, brilliant ideas they’re sharing–humanity definitely surprises me,” Bluemel tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Bluemel and others on the TEDx Idaho Falls board were tasked with narrowing down a list of 72 TEDx speaker applicants down to just 12.

“I didn’t know it was such a hard process to choose speakers,” Bluemel says. “There’s more to TEDx than getting up there and talking about whatever you want. It’s a long process.”

Bluemel says a successful TEDx presenter can take a personal experience or opinion to the next level.

“It takes a lot of focus to narrow a topic down to a unique perspective that will reach people. That’s hard to do.”

TEDxIdahoFalls speakers | Courtesy photo

Each speaker at the event will address the crowd for 10-12 minutes on a wide range of topics.

One of the presenters at TEDx Idaho Falls this year is Stephanie Taylor-Silva.

Taylor-Silva is in long term recovery from methamphetamine and cocaine addiction. She is also a survivor of childhood abuse and neglect, sexual assault, attempted murder and human trafficking.

Taylor-Silva spent time in prison and a correctional detention center.

“This is going to sound crazy but I feel like being in prison was the first time in my life I was treated like a human being. My probation officer was my mentor. He saved my life.”

With the help of her probation officer, she worked hard to turn her life around and today, she feels she is a much better person because of those experiences.

“I was such a hurt person. I don’t even think saying brutally broken is enough to describe where I was. I didn’t want to live,” says Taylor-Silva. “I’m so thankful to be where I am now.”

Taylor-Silva will be graduating from Idaho State University in May. She is currently working as a mentor for inmates in the same prison she once occupied. She says mentoring is critical to someone’s recovery, and ultimately, their success. That’s why she’s chosen mentoring as her TEDx topic.

“Mentoring makes our community a safer place and gives people an opportunity to have a decent life.”

Taylor-Silva has told her story publicly many times. She does a lot of public speaking in east Idaho and across the state. She says she is excited to address the crowd at TEDx Idaho Falls.

“You look at (Taylor-Silva) now and you think, There’s no way that was your life,” says Bluemel. “I am excited for people to hear her story.”

You can hear Taylor-Silva and 11 other presenters March 10. The event kicks off at 3 p.m. at the Colonial Theater. Tickets are available by clicking here.

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