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TEDxConcordiaUPortland - Taylor Adam Swift - Take Courage

Let's get one thing straight. Taylor Swift is not a pop star. He's not even a singer, at least not professionally. In fact, Taylor wouldn't even go so far as to say that he's extraordinary, though he's had plenty of extraordinary opportunities. As is the case with these things, one such opportunity came about entirely by chance. After a bad auto accident landed Taylor in physical therapy, he found that he couldn't pursue his calling as a photographer. What drew him to photography were the stories that he could tell, but he soon heard another story that captured his interest. A friend told him about Invisible Children, a non-profit organization that grew out of a documentary film about child soldiers in Africa. They had one spot left to fill. Taylor applied, interviewed, and in less than a week was working as a "roadie," giving presentations in Texas, Lousiana and the Pacific Northwest. In the span of one year he presented over 170 times to crowds that ranged from 15 to 2000. The experience was incredible, but what struck him most was how Invisible Children's stories forced people to stand up for justice and to stand up for people who lived on the other side of the world. He realized that you have to see the world from a different perspective in order to do this, and you have to believe in more than just yourself. At some point along the way, Taylor returned to photography and he hopes to use his skills to help conserve our public lands. He also remains open to new experiences and new extraordinary opportunities like the ones he's had. He knows there are still stories to tell, and he wants to help tell them. 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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