TOM Talks

TOM Talks are STA’s emulation of TED Talks. While TED Talks present on “ideas worth spreading,” TOM Talks center on a theme applicable to our unique STA community.

Joanna Kelley TOM Talk: February 16, 2024

We had the pleasure of welcoming Joanna Kelley to campus for a TOM Talk!

Jo is the owner of Cup of Joe Cafe & Bar in Portsmouth as well as the Assistant Mayor of Portsmouth! In 2021, she made history as the first African American woman to be on the City Council in Portsmouth as well as the youngest to ever be elected. 

She spoke to our school community about her life and upbringing, sharing how she overcame adversity and used her unique life experiences to spark her career as a small business owner and politician.

Cody Morissette TOM Talk: November 20, 2023

Cody Morissette recently stopped by and spoke to our school about his life, his journey throughout high school and college, and chasing his lifelong dream of becoming a professional baseball player.

Cody graduated from Exeter High School in 2018 and went on to attend Boston College (he committed his sophomore year of high school), where he was the first two-time All-American in Boston College Baseball history. In 2021, he reached the ultimate goal of playing professional baseball and was drafted in the second round by the Miami Marlins. He is currently playing on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins.

As he was speaking to our students, Cody emphasized the importance of working hard and being dedicated to what you love doing.

The moral of my story today is hard work and dedication. If you want to reach your goal, those are the two things you need the most. I had people tell me in high school you’re not going to make varsity as a freshman. I had people tell me you’re not going to go to an ACC school. When I got there, they said you’re not going to play in the Cape. When I got to be seen, they’re like you’re not going to be a professional. I had so many people saying that you can’t do this, you can’t do that. But the biggest thing I believed in was myself. I believed in my hard work. I believed in my mentality. And I had a support system like no other that would believe in me no matter what I did.

If you have a goal in life whether it’s being a doctor, performing on Broadway, being a professional athlete; whatever it may be in your life, don’t listen to people who say you can’t. It’s you that really ultimately decides whether you’re going to reach that goal or not. If anyone ever tells you that you can’t do something, that gives you more of a reason to want to do something.

Cody Morissette