Hill Forum Provides Platform for Stories

“We prevail despite these struggles, for there is the love of humanity in our hearts.” Mert Arslanoglu ‘17 passionately stated his vision for the world on the stage of Hill Forum two years ago.

Today, these words still ring true and stand to manifest as the founding purpose of Hill Forum.

Founded in 2016, Hill Forum is a platform for students to share their stories, ideas, and visions – It is like a TED conference for The Hill School.

“The idea behind Hill Forum comes from TEDx,” Burt Merriam, the faculty advisor of Hill Forum, said. “I want Hill Forum to be inclusive, where students have a say in the community, and an opportunity to share their stories.”

Hill Forum expresses hope for those who believe in the power of words and are who are willing to use the power of words to influence others. It is completely run by students, and all speakers volunteer to present speeches.

Each person is free to choose the topic of their speech, and the speaker delivers the speech in front of the community in the CFTA. Since its establishment, Hill Forum has been growing by the year. Last year there were five speakers with topics ranging from the purpose of education to our responsibility in the Syrian refugee crisis. This year, there will be seven speakers – Ceylin Sener ’19, Damian Walsh ’18, Alice Nguyen ’18, Eric Li ’18, Maggie Pearson ’18, Michael Vanelli ’19, and Richard Wang ’19 – and their topics cover a wide spectrum.

“Hill Forum hopes to encourage students to be compassionate, intellectually curious, and empathetic in a contentious world,” Daniel Yang ’18 said. “One day, perhaps Hill Forum can not only be a place where individuals from all walks of life may share their stories, but also a true forum of ideas – to enrich the community in numerous ways.”

Hill Forum embodies a unique vision for the school. The future of Hill Forum – and of the Hill community – is upon those who are willing to speak up and carry it forward.

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