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TEDxCalicoCanyon - Lester Tanaka - Aligning Integrity With Identity

About TEDx, x = independently organized eventIn 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)Lester Tanaka is living his passion of empowering people to say "Yes" to the highest possibility for their lives. After completing an A.S. in electronics engineering technology at Honolulu Community College (HCC), Lester realized it was the field of human potential that most excited him. He pursued his education at the University of Hawaii Manoa (UHM) earning his B.S. in Human Development and later returned to complete a M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance. After moving to Las Vegas he continued his studies taking doctoral classes in Education Psychology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) with an emphasis in self efficacy in creativity.In addition to his formal education, Lester taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in Osaka and Matsuyama, Japan while studying Japanese. After his two-year contract expired he travelled for the next sixteen months on a bicycle through Asia, Europe and North America. During the winter of his travels he secured a long-term volunteer position at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) near Machynlleth, Wales, where he served as an organic farmer and carpenter for nine months.Lester's curiosity has contributed to his effectiveness as a career counselor and mentor. He explored nine majors as an undergraduate student and has worked in six career fields: hospitality, recreation, construction, retail management, counseling and teaching. He expresses his creative spirit through sculpting stone and clay, making pottery, sketching, landscape design and home renovation. His giving nature is exemplified through countless hours working with youth groups and young adults in faith-based and community organizations.Currently, Professor Tanaka teaches the College Success course at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) and serves on a select number of departmental and college-wide committees. Starting at CSN as an adjunct instructor, he joined the college full-time in 1992 to oversee Tutorial Services in the Developmental Lab, and later co-developed the International Student Program, and served as a college counselor before coming home to teaching full-time.Lester believes that each of us must take a proactive role in our own learning while acknowledging the inadequacies of the current model of education. He states, "To be truly effective we, as educators, must be willing to acknowledge emerging paradigms of instruction and learning while holding learners to the highest of standards." Lester has been described as an "out-of-the-box" thinker, willing to take risks, while never losing sight of the big picture. He emphasizes that we all have our own answers, and we discover them though fearless self- examination and deep listening. Connecting with students in an authentic way in order to support them in living their most meaningful and fulfilling lives is the highest calling of this educator.
Length: 13:04


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