ACAD Student Talk It Out

Andrew Jang, Class of 2024

Andrew Jang, Class of 2024

Andrew Jones, Assistant Editor

On March 23, 2023, Athens Academy hosted the sixth annual Acad Talks, a play off of Ted Talks, where students present about topics or ideas that they are interested in. The process includes extensive research as well as strong and creative storytelling to keep the audience engaged with the presentation.


This year, 9 students gave an Acad Talk to the hundreds of students, faculty and parents in the Bertlesman auditorium. The talks ranged from the impacts of streaming services on the music industry to a student’s experience stuck in a foreign country during the covid pandemic. 


Shelby Ladner, a junior who presented on the concept of patience, believed that the process could not have been done without some help.


“I spent my time going directly to Ms. Towery. I would check in with her and tell her I don’t know what I’m doing so she would help me figure it out until we got everything finalized” said Ladner.


For many students, like  Andrew Jang, giving a talk was a nerve-racking experience.  Jang is a junior who presented about his chaotic freshman year first semester when he was stuck in South Korea due to the covid pandemic. 


“I was fine until the one talk before mine, and I started to panic. But once I got on stage, I knew that I had to go through with it” Jang said. 


For those who may be hesitant about giving an Acad Talk due to the public speaking and confidence necessary, Ladner, a self proclaimed “crazy person who loves public speaking” was still just as nervous as anyone else. 


“Public speaking is not something that you are just good at. I didn’t naturally have that ability. If anyone tells you that I almost didn’t pass out because of fear, they’re wrong!” said Ladner.


And for those who are interested in sharing their passions through Acad Talks but are nervous, just go for it.


“Do it. When you have a great group of friends that come out and listen it feels very rewarding to be heard” said Jang 


When asked about what advice she would give to future students looking to present an Acad Talk, Ladner had some advice.


“Do it. Like seriously, what is the worst that can go wrong? Everything, but that is okay cause you still went on stage and did it.” 

Sarah Harrison gives her ACAD Talk