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breathing life into new ideas

March 1, 2020

Columbus, Ohio

Hosted and funded by UALC at their Mill Run campus - 3500 Mill Run Dr. in Hilliard

Contact O2 - info@o2conference.org or 614-451-3736.

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The 2019 awards ceremony

More updates and results below!

The 2019 O₂ Conference launched 5 inspiring ideas pairing 6-12th graders with incredible mentors and $11,000! 

For the latest news, please subscribe to the O₂ mailing list.

You may contact the O₂ Team directly at info@o2conference.org.

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2019 THEME AND RESULTS

Thrive: Connecting the community

We want to see our city thrive! So what’s keeping our neighbors in Columbus from connecting and thriving?

Consider the needs of your friends, your family, your neighborhood, your work or school. What strikes you? With a little support, what idea would you be excited about seeing come to life? The kind of idea that could bring lasting health to people’s lives. The kind of idea that values people not just the accomplishment of a program. Connections can change lives. It’s time for Columbus to CONNECT and then THRIVE

 
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hilliard schools food pantries

Margaret Lee with Taylor McClintock

Audience Award Winner!

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sugar & spice

Omar Alghothani with Bart Griffin

Audience Award Winner!

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crescendo project

Alana Becker with Katie Widing

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radiant youth perception project

Jessica and Joanne Xu
with Nancy Jeggle

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cbus

Kush Hari and Melanie Marszal
with Tom Slemmer


 
 
 

What is O2?

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  • A pairing of students with mentors to get organized around the organic and together launch ideas that can meet the real needs of our community.

  • It’s an inspirational Sunday evening event where middle and high school students present ideas that meet the needs of the Columbus community. People of all ages buy tickets to attend the event, hear from the presenters, and enjoy dinner together.

  • It’s an opportunity to hear from local, top-notch speakers and community leaders. It’s a way to receive feedback, mentoring and even funding for moving ideas into action. $10,000 will be awarded to the presenters in just a few short hours!

  • If Kickstarter, Ted Talks, and Shark Tank had a baby that grew up in Columbus it would look like this event.

 
 

2019 Mentors & speakers

 
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Keynote speaker

Timothy Rush

Creator & General Manager
Third Way Cafe

- a social enterprise of CleanTurn

Bio
 
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Mentor/Panelist

Tom Slemmer
Former CEO & President
National Church Residences

BIO
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Mentor/Panelist

Nancy Jeggle
Actuarial Financial Director
Nationwide Insurance

Bio
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Mentor/Panelist

Bart Griffin
Managing Partner
Griffin-Lantz Insurance

Bio
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Mentor/Panelist

Katie Widing

Choir Director
Jones Middle School

BIO
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Mentor/Panelist

Taylor McClintock

President and Creative Director
G&P Productions, LLC

BIO
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O₂ Conference Director

David A. White IV
Pastor, Families, Youth & Children
Upper Arlington Lutheran Church

 
 
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How It Works

 
 
 
 
 

Applicants

STEP 1 - APPLICATION

The 2019 conference was awesome! Here's the process for applying to the 2020 conference. Prior to Jan. 5, 2020 young people in grades 6-12 develop an idea and submit their application. Teams typically fall into these two age groups but any combination of grades is welcome.

  • Middle School (6-8th Grade)
  • High School (9-12th Grade)
  • Individuals or teams of 2-3 people can begin the online application starting on Sept. 1, 2019. For more details on the commitment and expectations, download the information packet.

    Applications must be submitted by Jan. 5, 2019. If you began an application but missed the deadline please contact the O2 Team at info@o2conference.org.

    STEP 2 - O2 CONFERENCE

    Friends and community members take their seats on Sunday, 3/1 and countdown to the inspiring O2 Conference which begins at 5:02 pm. The presenters share their ideas. The excitement builds as each group interacts with our tremendous O2 Panel of Mentors in front of hundreds of engaged listeners.

    When dinner and the presentations are complete, the Panel will take time to deliberate. Each of the panelists will give their input on how to allocate the $10,000 to the presenters. Finally, the panelists will choose one of the groups to serve as a mentor to their winning idea. The exciting conclusion to the evening includes an Audience Award alongside the mentoring and financial awards. The hope is that everyone in attendance walks away feeling like they’ve experienced a breath of fresh air. There are a limited number of tickets for this event and it is expected to sell out.

    STEP 3 - MENTORSHIP AND PROJECT LAUNCH

    After the conference, the groups and their mentors will work together for a minimum of six months developing their idea. This is one of the exciting elements that sets this event apart.

Audience

Attend

The O2 Conference is an event where the audience participates! Come listen to ideas, support young people, and vote for the ideas you want to see launched. Be inspired by how much middle and high school students care about their city. Share your thoughts on what you believe are the needs of our community.

The hope is that everyone in attendance walks away feeling like they’ve experienced a breath of fresh air. There are a limited number of tickets for this event and it is expected to sell out. Your ticket purchase covers your admission and a delicious box dinner!

Donate

Financial support is always welcome. Together we can turn incredible ideas into reality across our city! If you're interested in donating to the O2 Conference, you can give by using the form below.

 
 

 

Dinner Partner

Freedom does tremendous work in Columbus and we’re proud to have them catering the O2 Conference!

t-shirt partner

Clothe Ohio gives a new t-shirt or sweatshirt to an Ohioan in need with each purchase. The O2 shirts not only look great, they’re super soft. You can pick one up at the conference.

 

Application

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Middle School Application
(6th - 8th grade)

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High School Application
(9th - 12th grade)

 
 
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2018 RESULTS

thrive

verb | \ ˈthrīv \


To grow and develop. To flourish and be successful.
To progress toward a goal despite or because of the circumstances.

 
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Project Innovation

Ilya, Madelyn, Teresa Rakowsky
with Charley Shin

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The Underrated power of teenagers

Khadijo Abdirahman with
Madison Mikhail Bush

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FastForward

MaryGrace Osborn with David White
 

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Take Off

Katie Overmyer, Claire Geistfeld, Maria Buffer with Stori Rex

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matter

Greta Schreiber and Gabrielle Shell
with John Ness

 

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Wharton pain scale

Kota Wharton with Don Leach

 

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Fitness group for women immigrants

Deika Ahmed and Sarah Khoury with Lisa Igel  Audience Award Winner!
 

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Senior Prom

Elizabeth Weller with Taylor McClintock
Audience Award Winner!
 


 
 

2018 Mentors & speakers

 
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Keynote Speaker

Ryan Miller
President & Co-Founder, The 2nd & 7 Foundation
Partner, m2 marketing
Former Linebacker & Defensive co-MVP
OSU Football Team

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Guest Speaker

Jane Leach
Executive Director, FutureReady Columbus
Founder of the Hilltop Preschool

 
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Mentor/Panelist

Charley Shin
Founder and CEO of BIBIBOP
Asian Grill
, Charleys Philly Steaks, and Solar Planet

BIO
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Mentor/Panelist

Madison Mikhail Bush
Founder and CEO of POINT and Director of Corporate Development at Gnome Diagnostics

Bio
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Mentor/Panelist

John Ness
Chief Executive Officer,
ODW Logistics, Inc.

Bio
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Mentor/Panelist

Stori Rex
Volunteer Coordinator,
LifeCare Alliance

Bio
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Mentor/Panelist

Lisa Igel
Wellness Program Manager
Huntington National Bank

Bio
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Mentor/Panelist

Don Leach
Attorney/Partner
Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP

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Mentor/Panelist

Taylor McClintock
President and Creative Director
G&P Productions, LLC

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O₂ Conference Director

David A. White IV
Pastor, Families, Youth & Children
Upper Arlington Lutheran Church

 
 

Stories

The Senior Prom went from the drawing board to real life between May and December of 2018!

The Senior Prom went from the drawing board to real life between May and December of 2018!

The first ever group of O2 participants and mentors completed their six months of working together. It has been exciting to hear about how each idea is progressing. They are definitely moving off the drawing board and into real life. For example, the team working on the Fitness Group for Women Immigrants secured a location and held their first swimming classes. Similarly, the team planning the Senior Prom networked a number of nursing homes together so they could collectively attend the event. A beautiful dinner and full evening of activities was held in early December in Hilliard. We’re excited about how these efforts are meeting real needs in Columbus!

The one thing I consistently hear from the students is that their mentor has made all the difference in developing their idea and their own skills. The funding doesn’t hurt either.
— David A. White IV

 
 
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CONTACT US

Use the form below to contact us with any thoughts or questions you may have.
You can also email us directly at info@o2conference.org.

 
Name *
Name

 

Hosted by:

Upper Arlington Lutheran Church
Mill Run Campus
3500 Mill Run Drive
Columbus, OH, 43026

 

Host

 
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Why does ualc host the O₂ conference?

UALC is transparently passionate about being and making followers of Jesus Christ. Living out our faith goes hand in hand with serving others in the name of Jesus. At the end of the day we take his message seriously. So, the O₂ Conference is an authentic expression of our faith where we listen and then respond to the needs of our community.

Investing in young people and their families is also a significant part of our history. No matter their age, we see them as capable difference-makers. We warmly welcome people from all backgrounds and walks of life to engage in this effort to love our city. We won't ask you to be someone you're not. We are inspired by God's great love for people and this world so we won't be shy about caring for you.

The O₂ Conference is held at UALC’s Mill Run Campus at 3500 Mill Run Drive in Hilliard. The funding for the event and the financial awards are provided by UALC.

 
A giant thank you to the caring and hard-working O2 Conference Team which includes Heather Peebles Buffer, Star Bradley, Howard Greene, Tim Krock, Elizabeth Weller, Jessica Porterfield, and David White IV.

A giant thank you to the caring and hard-working O2 Conference Team which includes Heather Peebles Buffer, Star Bradley, Howard Greene, Tim Krock, Elizabeth Weller, Jessica Porterfield, and David White IV.