TEDxMSU Profiles: Shannon Cason and Young Yi
TEDxMSU is quickly approaching, welcoming back some former students, including alumni Shannon Cason and Young Yi.
Both will share personal stories during their speeches with the intent to inspire other to express themselves and live their lives to the fullest.
After seeing a request online for TED speakers, Cason jumped at the opportunity to return to the college town he called home during his undergraduate studies.
For the last 10 years, he has been living in Chicago speaking on different talk shows and podcasts and traveling around the world telling his life stories.
Cason got involved with The Moth, a storytelling organization out of New York City that came to Chicago. His storytelling journey began when he spoke through this group, won a competition and went on to a bigger venue.
In addition to The Moth, Cason expressed his personal stories through NPR’s “Snap Judgement” and now hosts and produces WBEZ’s “Homemade Stories" podcasts. He recently returned to Michigan.
Cason said storytelling is something he started doing professionally within the last five years, but is something he’s been consistently doing in his life.
His most popular story is about his previous gambling addiction, which he said is the “hardest story to tell because it shines me in a bad light.”
When he was 12 years old, Cason was arrested on his way to a Boy Scouts meeting for simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time — another story he tells often.
“I hope people value their life experience, that they can look at their life experiences as valuable to other people. No matter if it’s mistakes, failures or struggles, they can look at those life experiences as valuable sharing,” Cason said. “When we are honest about our stories, it can really benefit us and others.”
During his finals week of his senior year at MSU, Yi started feeling sick, which he later realized were early symptoms of cancer.
During the summer of 2013, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and was forced to push back his super-senior final semester.
Now free of cancer, Yi looks back at his life-threatening experience and hopes to inspire others to live life with no regrets. During treatment, he realized that if he were to die, he would have many regrets.
This sparked the discussion for his talk.
“I’m talking about how to live life without any regrets and its essence in life through the means of urgency, patience and perseverance,” Yi said.
He hopes attendees of TEDxMSU learn how to evaluate their decisions and make sure they are reflecting and challenging themselves every day.
All of their negative energy should be transitioned into positive actions.
An optional reception follows the conference, which will allow speakers to meet with those who attend on a more personable level. This is what Yi is looking forward to most about the event.
“The speakers get to interact with people that are really into the type of program of TED Talks and see how, right from the get-go, what are people thinking about the talks and what questions do people have,” Yi said. “Are they going to challenge us about what’s being presented, or be really encouraged by it?”