Carl Perino: Helping Youth Find Their Identity

Carl Perino is a middle school principal, but he is so much more than his job title. The job comes with immense responsibilities. Students look at a principal as an authority figure or someone to fear. That’s not the case with Carl.

He has been in the education field for 23 years working as a coach, teacher, and administrator. He’s kept his passion for education and his students. This type of passion helps children reach their full potential.

“I am passionate about kids,” Carl said. “I get to see all the success and accomplishments of our youth.”

He points out that although he gets to see all the success, he also sees the challenges that students face. He also says the challenges and pressures students face has increased in the digital age.

“The ever expanding proliferation of technology is compromising their ability to grow socially.” The pressure to be perfect has increased because social media makes it seem like students must have the perfect life. Social media can make people’s lives seem a certain way, whether that image is true or not. This could lead to students feeling the pressure to live up to that same standard presented on social media.

Carl will speak at TEDxAsburyPark on May 20 at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park. His talk, Children are Not Standardized, will explore the societal obstacles to children discovering their identity.

As an educator, Carl uses TED talks for inspiration. He has previously attended conferences for the last two years and is excited to get on stage after observing so many others. In particular, he is excited for this year’s conference because of the theme of Identity. It fits into his work with children so well.

“Identity is how you see yourself fit into society. It is something that can change with time and wisdom. The advent of social media and kids’ 24/7 access to the virtual world have made this journey difficult for children,” he said. He believes that although technology is a great tool, it does create obstacles for young people who are trying to determine their true identities.

He is also a believer in the TED talk theme that ideas are worth spreading. He wants to connect with people and have a personal conversation to facilitate ideas.

“To truly spread an idea, however, you have to connect with people and allow them to see why the idea is important to them,” he said. “Without a connection, an idea will remain in that state without action.” He is looking forward to connecting with the audience during his talk.

When asked exactly how he will connect with the audience and what makes his talk unique, he mentioned one of his hobbies. “I have served as the creative director of Improv Jam Comedy Labs since 1998. In that time I have been able to perform thousands of shows in the Monmouth/Ocean County area.”  He has a unique rhyming style as well as a comfort and ease on stage.

He hopes the audience will understand his concern for the younger generation as well as how to help guide them.

“Speaking at the Identity event will provide me with an opportunity to express my growing concern for the youth of today,” he said.

Hear Carl and other inspiring speakers at TEDxAsburyPark on May 20. Get your tickets today.