Team Talk

A group of people sitting in a circle on grass, with their hands and feet extended towards the center, creating a sense of unity and teamwork.


In this engaging TEDx talk titled "Team Talk," Mike Calvo shares his personal journey and insights on navigating the challenging teen years. Tailored for junior and high school students, Mike offers practical advice on social tips and secrets, the importance of learning from mistakes, and setting and achieving goals. Drawing from his own experiences, he discusses how to be a disabled teen dealing with various issues and how non-disabled peers can support their disabled friends. The talk aims to inspire and empower students to embrace their potential and make positive choices, fostering an inclusive and supportive environment.
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Key Takeaways

1. Teen Years Can Be Rough

Mike discusses the challenges of the teen years and how he got through them. He shares social tips and secrets that helped him navigate this difficult period, both as a disabled teen and in interacting with non-disabled peers. He emphasizes the importance of non-disabled friends asking, "What do you need me to do that can help you?" when interacting with disabled peers.

2. It's Okay to Mess Up

Mike emphasizes that making mistakes is a natural part of growing up and learning. He talks about the importance of learning the hard way and gaining wisdom from experiences, covering topics such as personal image, drugs, and sex.

3. Social Media, Drugs, and Sex

Mike addresses the pressures and influences of social media, drugs, and sex. He offers guidance on making smart choices and understanding the long-term consequences of some of our actions as teens.

4. Dealing with Teachers and Authority Figures

Mike provides advice on how to effectively deal with teachers and other authority figures. He emphasizes the importance of respect, communication, and setting boundaries.

5. Self-Advocacy and Working with Others

Mike highlights the importance of students speaking up and working with parents, teachers, and school administration to get the tools and services they need. He discusses the importance of speaking up and learning self-advocacy from an early age and how it can help in securing services for disabled students like readers for books, extra time on tests, and other accommodations.

6. Set Your Goal and Go For It

Mike inspires students to set clear goals and pursue them with determination. He shares motivational stories and strategies for staying focused and overcoming obstacles.
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In an engaging recount at The Abbey in Orlando, Mike Calvo shares a remarkable story from his teenage years that epitomizes the theme of "Resolution." Faced with the dilemma of getting home safely after his friends had been drinking, Mike, though blind, is humorously nominated as the "safest" driver.

What follows is a hilarious yet eye-opening adventure involving a practice driving session on a church football field. This tale not only breaks down stereotypes but also highlights a critical resolution: the power of innovative thinking and the importance of making responsible choices under pressure.

Mike's story resolves with a deeper understanding of trust and the unexpected capabilities that arise when friends believe in each other, regardless of perceived limitations.