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Project Ignite Presents: Vulnerability - Our Strength

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Oro Valley Council Chambers

11000 N. La Cañada Drive

Oro Valley, 85737

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Project Ignite presents: Vulnerability - Our Strength

Keynote Speakers: Felicia Chew, Sai Konkimalla, Coppelia Tarantal and Albert Alan


What is Project Ignite?

Project Ignite is a series of story telling events engaging the youth in hard conversations relating to human connections and our inner emotions by learning from ordinary members who are doing extraordinary work in our community. This is the first of many, so stay tuned for future announcements in this series.

Project Ignite is brought to you by Simplify Education, LLC, in collaboration with the Oro Valley Youth Advisory Council and the University of Arizona College of Education. It is our collective endeavor to build a strong and inclusive foundation for our future generations.


About the Speakers

Felicia Chew is a teacher, mother, and advocate. Felicia ran for Tucson City Council in 2017, and will share her stories of being politically vulnerable. After the campaign, Felicia founded Felicia Chew Community Projects. Felicia looks forward to her next campaign, and becoming an elected public servant, to #SpeakUp for #Equity for #EachOfUs and #AllOfUs.

Sai Konkimalla is a 7th grader at BASIS Oro Valley. He has many interests that include playing the piano, Karate, reading, and competing in math and spelling bees. He plays the piano in nursing homes, is an assistant instructor in Tae Kwon Do class, and assists in his school chess club. He also participates in various food distribution projects that serve the needy. Sai has earned many awards and achievements in math, spelling bee, and chess and is a member of National Junior Honors Society. He hopes to be a scientist someday.

Coppelia Tarantal is a local Tucsonan, an ICU Registered Nurse and returned Peace Corps Volunteer and former Early Childhood Educator. Coppelia also enjoys sharing her talents as a children's singer, photographer and origami artist. In 2010 Coppelia was diagnosed with an illness called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. While this was life altering, Coppelia found ways to overcome and cope with life through various art forms and meditation. Gradually, her health improved and she decided to take the next leap in life and furthered her education obtaining a Master's degree in nursing. She is now an ICU nurse and is active in the community through her art and love of singing with children.

Albert Alan’s compassion for the underserved is matched only by his passion for medicine. He was homeless once. In 2017 Albert became one of twelve applicants selected to join the Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway program, which offers a dual M.S. in Cellular Molecular Medicine and MD degree. Rather than allow homelessness to shame or silence him, he has become a voice for the broken and the historically marginalized, asserting that the path to a healthier society requires social equality.

The keynote addresses will be followed by a panel discussion and a chance to engage with the panelists after refreshments.

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Oro Valley Council Chambers

11000 N. La Cañada Drive

Oro Valley, 85737

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