The InnerKid Philosophy: Kristen Powers at TEDxTeen





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Published on Apr 13, 2012

Kristen Powers has always refused to believe that a person needs a car, money, legality, or a job to make a difference in this world. In 2003, when Kristen was just nine years old, her mother was diagnosed with Huntington's disease, an incurable brain disorder that causes the victim to lose his or her ability to walk, talk, think or reason. It eventually leads to death.

As Kristen began to regain her footing and adjust to the reality of her mother's illness, she received a second blow. After doing some research, Kristen discovered that she and her brothers have a 50% chance of inheriting the same disease that their mother would die of in January 2011.

Kristen decided that this uncertain timeline on her life would not prevent her from achieving her wildest dreams. In her freshman year, Kristen created the Chapel Hill High School Green Tiger Campaign, a sustainability program and garden that has received recognition from Parade Magazine's All-American High School Service Team, Family Circle Magazine, DoSomething.org's Green Your School Competition and the White House.

Now that Kristen has recently turned 18 (the legal age to be genetically tested), she has started her new venture. She is creating a documentary following her genetic testing for Huntington's disease, as well as the challenges youth are faced with while living with this disease. Currently in the fundraising and production phase, Kristen's documentary fundraising campaign raised $10,000 for Twitch in nine days. She hopes that this documentary will spark a national conversation about a disease that has often flown under the radar.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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