When people settle into their seats at the TEDx Texas University event next month, they will be expecting to hear from a range of professionals and experts on the event’s theme of all things “green,” including climate issues, technology, health, the arts, media, social sciences, the humanities, and the hard sciences. What they might not expect is that one speaker, Jayairus Bryant, can barely reach the microphone.
That is because Jayairus is not a professional working in a related field, but a second-grader at Cooper Elementary in Spring ISD.
Described as a “free-spirited” kid with a “unique combination of grit and wit,” Jayairus will be discussing mistakes that adults have made regarding environmental issues and how those mistakes have impacted children.
“It means the world to me, because I love speaking and having people listen to me,” Jayairus said. “And this is a fantastic opportunity to do so in front of a big audience.”
According to event organizers, he will be discussing his ideas on mistakes that adults have made regarding environmental issues and how those mistakes have impacted children. Organizers also point out this is the first time a child will speak at this particular event.
His dad, Aaron Bryant, who often discusses topics like science and social issues with his son, said it is “a dream” for Jayairus to speak at an event like this.
“We know that it could change the entire trajectory of his future,” Bryant said. “He has a lovable personality, and he is a natural performer. We are both grateful that he has been selected to display his oratorical skills and intellect on such a large scale.”
Jolie Trove, a teacher at Cooper Elementary, is serving as Jayairus’ speaking coach. She had Jayairus in her classroom last school year, and has been working with him since October on this speech.
“Jayairus was a very smart student and also very aware of things going on around the country and the world,” Trove said. “He and his dad study space a lot and have had many conversations about life and what’s going on, so they have talked at length about environmental issues, green energy, and other things.”
It’s that unique point of view that made him the perfect fit for the TEDx event at Texas State University.
“I decided on the topic for the TEDx talk by brainstorming things that are important to me when it comes to the planet and saving it,” Jayairus said. “The most important message that I want listeners to get from my speech is that what adults do today affects children’s tomorrow.”
The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at
Texas State University in San Marcos. Each speech will be shared online after the event. More information can be found at tedxtexasstateuniversity.com.