Zachary Jones
“Unlocking the Hidden Potential of High School Students”
TEDxWilmingtonLive: Age of Amazement
Saturday, April 28th, 2018
Wilmington Friends School MORE INFO

Some people plant some seeds in their garden and hope they grow. Other people are serious gardeners. They measure pH levels, soil composition and constantly trim and maintain a variety of flora.

I put myself in the first category as a gardener, but I’m starting to move into the more serious category as a speaker.

Crafting a TEDx talk is unlike any experience I’ve had before. In the past, I’ve primarily facilitated workshops about design thinking, creativity and entrepreneurship. Workshops still require the ability to stand in front of a room and create a cohesive experience, but they’re much different from a talk.

As I found myself typing out this script, practicing, getting feedback, reading articles and iterating, I had this moment of joy. There’s something powerful about going really deep into a topic to learn the ins and outs of what works. This experience has already taught me so much about effective storytelling and crafting a resonant message.

I now find myself using these concepts to help students share their stories and ideas. I ask questions like “what is the idea you want people to leave with?” and “how are you going to take the listener on a compelling journey?”

I’m beginning to tap into the power of story more than ever before. Just like the amateur gardener turned enthusiast, I’m transitioning from someone who has experimented with speaking, to someone who is gaining experience. As I continue to dive deeply into this new art form, here’s to hoping my cilantro and mint plants survive the suboptimal environment this amateur gardener created for them.


Zachary Jones is a workshop facilitator and the author of The World Changer’s Handbook. All of his favorite projects revolve around empowering young people to build their dreams. Zachary is currently the director of Dual School, one of the most forward-thinking education programs in the country. He helps high school students launch passion projects like improving mental health in schools, building rotorless drones or improving life for immigrants in Delaware. READ MORE

Age of Amazement, TEDxWilmingtonLive, TEDxWilmingtonLive, Wilmington, Delaware

TEDxWilmingtonLive: Age of Amazement // Saturday, April 28th, 2018 // Wilmington Friends School