Cardinal Newman senior encourages youth to make a difference

COLUMBIA—Alex Six wants people his age to know their ideas can change the world.

It’s something the 18-year-old said he has learned through two years of work with the Diocese of Charleston’s Youth Evangelization Team, also known as the E-team.

On April 26, he shared his perspectives at the TEDxYouth conference in Columbia, an event founded in 2012 with the goal of bringing together some of the best young minds in the state. At TEDx, speakers focus on inspiring creativity, developing ideas, and becoming inquisitive and critical thinkers. The conferences are regional events that grew out of global TED brainstorming sessions that originated in California.

Six was invited to audition for this year’s conference. The organizers signed him up after hearing his 10-minuted presentation.

“I focused on how everyone can impact the world by sharing their ideas and their stories,” Six said. “I’m a shy person by nature and I had to learn that my ideas can have an impact, and I wanted other young people to know they should not be afraid to share parts of themselves and their lives in order to better others.”

“A lot of times youth will say ‘Well, I can’t do anything. I can’t vote or run a business.’ But you can change the world yourself with many little things,” he said.

Youth often find it more comfortable to communicate via social media and the internet, and he discussed ways those platforms can have a positive impact.

While a text message or Facebook post will never completely replace face-to-face conversation, he said any form of communication can be used to uplift people.

Six, a senior at Cardinal Newman School, is already exploring ways to spread God’s message through the written word and online. Along with friend Olav Tollefsen, in January he started Unleavened Ministries (, a website and blog that features his spiritual musings and other guest writers.

He was inspired to start the ministry because of the huge impact faith has had on his life. Working with the E-team helped him learn the true importance of prayer and complete trust in God.

The son of Steve and Julie Six of Columbia, his family belongs to St. John Neumann Church. In the fall, he’ll head to Clemson University to study electrical engineering, and hopes to be involved in campus ministry there.

“I want people to know that God is good, and when things happen we can look in our lives and know that God had a role on it,” Six said. “He tells us, ‘Hold on, wait and you’ll see what I have in store for you!’ My work has taught me to trust Him a lot more. He makes things work out.”

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