Featured Speaker: Stephanie Glaros

A Call to Connect

“The Grateful Dead’s music touches on ground that most other groups don’t even know exists.”*

Stephanie Glaros discovered the band in her teens, and that was her inspiration to travel, to be inquisitive, and to connect with other people. She attended her first Grateful Dead concert in Minneapolis in 1988, and the next year she travelled alongside other Deadheads to camp out and attend another set of concerts. In meeting others who appreciated the music and valued being curious, adventurous, optimistic, and friendly, Stephanie realized she had found her tribe. That connection to others, some who were very different from herself, fed her ambition to learn other peoples’ stories and find out what makes them who they are.

Stephanie’s creative medium is photography. She’s a shot-seeker: someone who looks for what will be held within the moment of the frame once the click occurs. With a curiosity for learning about people, for peeling back that first layer perspective, Stephanie challenges her own boundaries and comfort by seeking the stories of people she meets. She traces her ability to overcome fear back to her childhood. Growing up in suburban Minnesota, she had the freedom to explore and create her own adventures. She spent her summer days taking off on her bike to investigate her curiosities; and found confidence and trust in herself to challenge any fear, overcome it and put it behind her.

By leaning in when she feels uncomfortable, Stephanie has catapulted her own personal growth. As a learner and as a teacher, she continues to evolve, change, and develop herself. Stephanie recognizes that if everyone could be more open to communicate and connect with those around them, there is the opportunity for a bigger benefit. The risk of rejection is what stops people from reaching out, sharing a conversation, or making eye contact with others instead of with the screen of their phone.

No matter how inconsequential the moment seems, Stephanie strives to create interactions that could improve someone’s day and recognizes that every interaction will create a ripple. The opportunity to greet everyone you meet with kindness offers more possibilities for positive reverberation, and she believes the rewards outweigh the perceived risks.

As she moves through life, the phrase that guides her to knock down the doorstep of apprehension is “What’s next?”, because there will always be another endeavor that calls her attention forward.

Answer her call for YOUR attention and join us to hear Stephanie’s TEDxEdina talk on Saturday, October 13!

*Lenny Kaye, member of the Patti Smith Group, for Rolling Stone. Feb 7, 1970. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-album-reviews/live-dead-190337/