Zahra Khuhro

Control + Alt Delete Bullying

Watch her TED Talk

Student and winner of the 2017 Optimist Oratorical contest

Zahra is a freshman at Hilliard Darby High school.  She is extremely active in school as well as an honors student and ranked #1 in her class. She is passionate about public speaking and has participated in both Hilliard Optimist Oratorical Contests and Rotary Contests.

Zahra Khuhro is on a mission to delete digital bullying. She describes cyberbullying as a virus that has infected over 50% of adolescents and teens. As freshman at Hilliard Darby High school, more than half of her classmates have experienced bullying on a daily basis through email, text messages, and social media. Zahra’s talk focuses on spreading awareness and sharing ways to stand up and end bullying.

Frankie Soleil

Strumming the Soul

Watch her TEDxHilliard performance


Frankie Soleil is not the typical about to be junior year student at Hilliard Bradley High School. While her friends spend their Friday nights at the movies, she can be found singing on stage at local coffee shops. Music is her passion and has been her way to connect to the world around her.

With her ukulele in hand, Frankie Soleil expresses how music has been her outlet and coping mechanism through the challenging times in her life. Frankie will perform her songs “Anxiety” and “Skins” that she wrote when she felt helpless, alone, and as if the world was against her. The songs represent Frankie as a person and are the vehicle she uses to share the positive message of how beauty can come out of a place of pain.

Jim Smalley

Speed of Life

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Teacher and Coach

Jim Smalley is a recipient of HCSD’s Educator of Excellence award. He is a passionate basketball coach for THE Hilliard Darby Panthers and serves in the role of an elementary technology teacher. A graduate of Heidelberg University, Jim lives in Hilliard, OH with his beautiful wife Danah and handsome dog Max.

A single moment can forever change how we view our world. The moment we hearing a loved one’s laughter, we smile. The moment we decide to give ourselves permission to let our imagination run wild, we create a spark, which can ignite a fire. In our overscheduled world, it is easy for a whole day to pass where we miss our moments. To help him focus on life’s details, Jim Smalley has embarked on a year-long journey to document a moment from each day in his life. He invites you to view a year of his life as he shares the impact this project has had on his life.

Kim Emch

Challenging Children to Dream:
Overcoming Poverty through Entrepreneurship

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Founder and Executive Director of SON Ministries

Kim Emch likes a free lunch. Not for herself, but for the 3,000+ children in her suburban town of Hilliard who are living in poverty. In 2007 Kim founded the Hilliard Free Summer Lunch Program to silence the rumbling tummies in her community. As this program grew to a year-round ministry partnering with children and families facing poverty in a suburban setting, she founded Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries in March of 2009 to help families move out of poverty.

Anyone can cause positive change in the world and inspiration can come from anywhere. Kim Emch had never planned on combatting suburban poverty. The day she learned that there were children living in poverty in her community she knew she had to help. Kim didn’t know anything about starting a free summer lunch camp and she doubted she was qualified to do so. But her spark of inspiration was so powerful that it overcame all her fears and doubts and she jumped in and did it. Kim shares humorous stories and experiences about from her 10 year journey. What started as a program to feed hungry children in Hilliard has grown to offering programs that help children and families climb out of poverty.

Brian Wagner

Defining Your Blind Spot

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CEO of A Radical Vision

Brian Wagner looks at life differently than most people. He has a gift for helping others identify their personal blindspots and overcome their self-limiting beliefs. His talent developed out of his childhood diagnosis of a severe genetic disorder that would eventually impair his vision, but not his outlook on life. Brian inspires and motivates others to embrace their personal blindness, whether it be physical or mental, through a process he called A Radical Vision.

You may have wondered why you’ve been passed up for a promotion. Maybe your spouse has left you unexpectedly. Maybe you didn’t get the job offer that you felt was yours. There are certain times in everyone’s life where we question why certain things are happening. “How could they do that to me?”, you might have said. This is a victim mindset. There is always two sides to every story. More than likely, these issues could have been seen far in advance and possibly corrected. They seem to have come out of nowhere because they were in your blindspot.

There’s a reason why automobile regulations are demanding blind spot detection. This is a hot topic with the automotive industry, regulatory commissions, financial industry, as well as almost any part of daily life. This is the kind of blindness that has impact for every day issues. Once you’ve concluded that you are blind and identified your blind spots you’ll be ready to learn how to see through your blindspots.

Embracing your blindness will become a movement that you want to share with others. This will allow free flowing communication for you, your love ones, your work associates and others.

Threat Level Midnight

Principal Alice Cooper & Professor Van Halen
Winner of the 2017 Groove U InstaBand Battle of the Bands


Threat Level Midnight is a 6-piece alternative rock band from Hilliard, Ohio. These six students were brought together through a class at the Hilliard’s McVey Innovative Learning Center, where their curriculum was to become a band. They bring real life experiences and their unique instrumentation to their original music.

Sharon Esswein

Empowerment: It’s an Inside Out Process
Teacher and Jennings Scholar

Watch her TED Talk

Sharon Esswein is a firestarter.  As an educator for the past 39 years, she has learned to identify the internal passion that burns within us all and cultivate it into a flame. Sharon is dedicated to sharing her skill to help others ignite sparks of passion. She lives in Hilliard, Ohio with her husband Larry where she is inspired daily by her family.

How do we ignite that spark that lies waiting inside of us? How do we help others ignite that spark within themselves and into a flame that burns brightly? We all have unique gifts that only we can give and a purpose for being in this world. Educator Sharon Esswein teaches the skills that help us ignite that spark within ourselves and to identify that spark of aliveness in others. She helps people who have come alive and live more fulfilling lives. Sharon transforms spectators into “balcony people” and cheerleaders who guide through encouragement.

Dr. Boris Terebuh

Translating Pain’s Message
Specializes in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Management

Patients look forward to a visit with Dr. Boris Terebuh. As a practitioner of musculoskeletal medicine, he alleviates pain. Dr. Terebuh has been re-envisioning his profession’s current solution of pain management. He realized that focusing on the symptom of pain and offering medication as the only solution was short sighted. He has dedicated the past twelve years of his career to teaching patients how to manage their pain independent of medication.

Our society has a pain problem. We have become hypersensitive to it and are terrified of it. Pain is a universal language, but it doesn’t speak English. We do our best to guess how to treat the symptom, but sometimes that does not fix the issue that causes the pain. With opioid use out of control, alternatives methods are being developed to treating pain without medication. As a specialist in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Management, Dr. Boris Terebuh has learned to translate the pain message. He shares pain’s message with his patients and is excited to share what Regenerative Medicine has to offer right now and in the future.

Dev Pathik

The Power of Self-Coaching

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Founding Partner in Bo Jackson’s Sports Leadership Centers

Dev Pathik listens to the voice in his head, his inner coach. This voice pushes him to go further, dig deeper, try harder. It is a voice that we all can employ to overcome great adversity or to resist temptation. Everyone has this inner voice. Dev believes that when we teach others how to be more proactive coaches to themselves, the outcomes are extraordinary.

Dev Pathik believes that the single most important skill you will ever develop is the power of self-coaching. Dev will discuss how utilizing different styles of self-coaching can transforming personal outcomes and influence the way we educate, lead, and develop people. He will discuss the power of personal promises, self-coaching, and the concept of pursuing your very best self.

Ross Youngs

Microbiome Mining for New Cures

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CEO of Biosortia Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Ross Youngs is a serial entrepreneur and inventor who founded his first company in 1988 and went on to land on the INC 500 list of Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies for 5 times. He was named the Nation’s Business Person of the Year in 1998 and holds over 75 patents. Ross has extensive involvement in materials, processes, and products that range from the plastic industry to green energy and now pharmaceutical discovery.

His current focus is drug discovery from the microbiome. The microbiome of interest is the aquatic microbiome which includes all types of microorganisms. The overlap to the human gut microbiome is at least 73%.