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What Makes You Special – TED Talks by Mariana Atencio

This is the photo of mariana atencio who is a speaker in TED

What Makes You Special is a wonderful speech given by Mariana Atencio. In her TED talks to describe the qualities that makes you different and special .

Transcript of TED Talk by Mariana Atencio


Thank you so much. As a journalist, my job involves connecting with people from diverse backgrounds worldwide. Today, I’ll share why I chose this path and the valuable lessons I’ve learned.

My story begins in Caracas, Venezuela, a place forever etched in my heart as magical and full of wonder. From a young age, my parents encouraged me to broaden my horizons. When I was around seven, my dad surprised me with an announcement: “Mariana, I’m sending you and your six-year-old sister to a place where nobody speaks Spanish. You’ll experience different cultures.” His parting words stuck with me: “You never know what the future holds.”

Fr?m a very young age, my parents wanted me to have a wider view of the world. I remember one time when I was around seven years old, my dad came up to me and said, “Mariana, I’m going to send you and your little sister…” – who was six at the time – “…to a place where nobody speaks Spanish. I want you to experience different cultures.” He went on and on about the benefits of spending an entire summer in this summer camp in the United States, stressing a little phrase that I didn’t pay too much attention to at the time: “You never know what the future holds.” Meanwhile, in my seven-year-old mind,


I was thinking, we were going to get to summer camp in Miami. (Laughter) Maybe it was going to be even better, and we were going to go a little further north, to Orlando, where Mickey Mouse lived. (Laughter) I got really excited. My dad, however, had a slightly different plan. Fr?m Caracas, he he sent us to Brainerd, Minnesota. 

Mickey Mouse was not up there, (Laughter) and with no cell phone, no Snapchat, or Instagram, I couldn’t look up any information. We got there, and one of the first things I noticed was that the other kids’ hair was several shades of blonde, and most of them had blue eyes. Meanwhile, this is what we looked like. The first night, the camp director gathered everyone around the campfire and said, “Kids, we have a very international camp this year; the Atencios are here from Venezuela.” (Laughter) The other kids looked at us as if we were from another planet. 

They would ask us things like, “Do you know what a hamburger is?” Or, “Do you go to school on a donkey or a canoe?” (Laughter) I would try to answer in my broken English, and they would just laugh. I know they were not trying to be mean; they were just trying to understand who we were, and make a correlation with the world they knew. We could either be like them, or like characters out of a book filled with adventures, like Aladdin or the Jungle Book. We certainly didn’t look like them, we didn’t speak their language, we were different. 

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For more TED Talk videos, please visit: The Danger of Silence – TED Talks by Clint Smith

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Written by pragya singh

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