Cole Ledford once paid for $900 worth of purchases with less than $1 with his coupons. Sarah Nerad was once addicted to drugs. Both shared their stories with an audience of more than 700 people last weekend.
“Don’t be afraid to share your story with others, because you don’t know the impact it could have,” said Nerad, a speaker at the second annual TEDx Ohio State University conference, which took place in the RPAC on Saturday.
TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to spread ideas. TEDx events, where the “x” denotes an independent organization, take place all over the world, from college campuses to even prisons.
Ledford, a first-year in political science and international business, was one of the speakers.
Ledford spoke of his past, where he faced family, monetary and personal struggles.
“It was really great how receptive everyone was to my story,” he said. “I kind of feel free now that everyone knows it.”
Ledford was featured on two seasons of TLC’s show “Extreme Couponing,” where he showed off his skill of maximum savings when shopping.
He opened up his speech with an 18-foot long receipt from a previous shopping trip with a total of more than $900, but it cost Ledford less than $1 due to his couponing.
In high school, Ledford moved in with his friend’s family while his parents moved due to job relocation. It was then that Ledford started “saving it forward.”
“I hope people are inspired to think about their life, and think about how their actions affect other people,” Ledford said.
The event featured 13 speakers from the OSU and Columbus community sharing their ideas and experiences, contributing to the conference’s theme of “Life in Motion.”
“Our event’s goal is to basically spread great ideas and have the community engaged overall,” said Hannah McNamara, one of the MCs of the event and a second-year in human development and family science. “I definitely think we succeeded.”
McNamara said this year’s TEDx was double the size of last year’s.
Dylan MacDowell, a first-year in public affairs, attended the event and said it was an eye-opening experience.
“I’m definitely inspired to share my own story with others now,” he said. “You never know the impact you can have.”
The event was $10 for OSU students before March 8 and $15 after. Other TEDx speakers talked about topics and issues including involvement in Islamic affairs as a devout Christian, Sikhism, gay rights and bipolar disorder.