A Closer Look at Student Adversity

Students Do the Teaching at TEDx Talk


In mid-November five Selkirk College students presented an afternoon of touching and inspiring stories at the Shambhala Music & Performance Hall as part of a special TEDx event.

The afternoon was titled “Dancing in the Storm: Youth Explore Their Resilience” and invited the community to come and listen to the stories. Presented by the Teaching & Learning Institute, the event was co-sponsored by Selkirk College and School District #8.

TEDx talk wrap

The TEDx talk in November included: (L-R) Amanda Gawne, Nathan Pay, Cormac Southam, Issa Ebombolo, Kacey Gal, Jesse McDonald and Bonnie Jantzen.

The featured speakers included Jesse McDonald, Cormac Southam, Issa Ebombolo, Nathan Pay and Kacey Gal. All five spoke from the heart in incredibly honest and touch ways.

All five high quality videos are now available on YouTube for people to see for themselves just how powerful these speakers were on that afternoon in Nelson.

UAS Student Speaks About Adversity

“I decided early on that failure’s not for me,” McDonald said during her 12-minute talk. “Then I realized that all failure is, is an opportunity to learn.”

McDonald grew up in Nakusp and rose quickly through the snowboarding world, coming just a few steps away from her dream of being part of the Canadian Olympic Team in the Vancouver 2010 Games. McDonald speaks about overcoming injury, the death of her stepdad/coach, battling anxiety and ultimately being forced to make a huge change in her life.

“I hope you do struggle,” she told the live audience gathered that afternoon. “I hope you find yourself in low places. Because that is when you’ll show yourself what you’re capable of. It’s when you recover from that and move on to your next big dream that you’ll show yourself just how resilient you are. Just wait until you see what a pleasure it is watching yourself grow.”

Check Out Videos on YouTube

You can view all the videos here or watch them individually on YouTube:

Perfectly Uncomfortable: Jesse McDonald

Success as a Choice: Cormac Southam

Peace Clubs in Africa: Issa Ebombolo

The Power of Choice: Nathan Pay

Don’t Give Up on You: Kacey Gal


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