Anya Gruener Organizes Ted Talk-Style “RaiderTalk” Event

Eduardo Kingston, Staff Writer

Pictured is organizer, sophomore Anya Gruener, and advisor Mr Morell.

On Monday, May 16, sophomore Anya Gruener organized an event called Raider Talk that took place in the Student Union.

This year’s theme for the Raider Talk was ‘identity’, hence, each participant was given the opportunity to talk about numerous subjects related to their individual identities. The idea originally came up as part of Gruener’s school club, Don’t Close Your Eyes. With the help of her club sponsor, teacher, and mentor, Mr. Morell, as well as the help and support of activities director Mrs. Bowen, Gruener was able to make her idea come to life. 

“To me, my voice is my most powerful possession, and I find it vital to use it to help benefit my community, specifically my school community. I aimed to form an event to show others the power, responsibility, and privilege that comes with sharing one’s voice,” explained Gruener. “Hence, Raider Talk was made with the purpose of giving students not only the ability to use their voice, but also to allow them to be heard. The voices of every student, although very diverse, worked together to create one cohesive event, and that is truly what Raider Talk is about.” 

Sophomore Ana Catherine Guimarães participated in the event and decided to talk about her experience with dyslexia.

“I thought it was a very interesting and innovative idea, I think Gulliver really needed this empowerment, this push to something that persuades people to talk about their struggles and their accomplishments and things that are important in general with their lives,” said Guimarães.

This was the first time that the upper school had this event, and the expectation is that it will continue to happen every year from now on.

“It was truly an incredible experience, and the event went even better than expected. It had a very great response from the school community as a whole, leaving many questioning when the next talk will take place,” said Gruener. “In the future I envision this event growing, to bring in the voices of teachers, students, alumni, and many more. This event is the first of many!”

The students that participated in the event were Diego Carrillo ’24 Massimo Chiarini ’24 Anya Gruener ’24 Ana Catherine Guimaraes ’24 Katherine Ramirez ’24 Cemre Sengul ’25 Avery Simon ’24 Olivia Anzai Takahashi ’25