‘Life Lessons from Valley’ Features Student Stories of High School

news_valley_lifelessonsEleven students with a variety of backgrounds are headlining the first-ever “Life Lessons from Valley,” planned for March 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Valley High School Performing Arts Center, 2300 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines. West Des Moines Mayor and Valley graduate Steve Gaer will be a featured speaker. The event is free and open to the public.

Valley High School Senior Dani Lipman created the event for her Honors Program capstone project. She decided the event would follow a format similar to TED Talks, short talks from the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) nonprofit about innovative topics. The presentation allow students to share how their high school experiences shaped their lives.

Lipman presented the idea to teachers, who then nominated 50 students from all grade levels for the mini-talks. Students auditioned for a spot in the mini-talk series by pitching their ideas and providing a rough draft of their speech. From auditions, Lipman chose the final eleven speakers. The stories include students who have auditioned for a national television show, found support as a transgender student, persevered when no one else shared their passion for a hobby, and much more.

Lipman also approached the TED organization that inspired her project and secured TED accreditation for the second half of her event. TED will share the event as “Life Lessons from High School,” allowing the students to reach a broader audience. Lipman said planning the event helped her get to know her school community better and the stories students had to share.

“In a way, it has made the school a little bigger for me, because of the stories I now see inside it,”
Lipman said of the project. “I think people will be able to gain an insight on Valley and its people.”

To get the latest updates on the event, please follow @lifelessonsvhsevent on Twitter.

Valley High School (VHS) is located in West Des Moines, a suburb of Des Moines with approximately 55,000 residents. VHS is a three-year comprehensive high school with approximately 1,900 students. Its Honors Program requires the completion of specific courses, a minimum GPA of 3.9, and the completion of a senior capstone project.