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Cards talk for Lincoln’s 150th year

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“The last time I gave a speech at Lincoln High School was when I was running for senior class president— against another senior at the time, Ted Wheeler,” said David Bangsberg.

Bangsberg was this month’s Stumptown Speaker, and on the evening of Thursday, November 8, he gave his speech titled “The Challenge of Public Health in a Changing World,” in the Lincoln cafeteria.

Stumptown Speakers is the Portland chapter of a nonprofit organization founded by Lincoln graduate Michael Ioffe in 2015.

“I was a sophomore at Lincoln and realized that there was a lack of resources for students interested in innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship,” explained Ioffe. It was this lack of resources which inspired the nonprofit’s title: Talks on Innovation, Leadership and Entrepreneurship (TILE).

In its early days, Stumptown Speakers hosted monthly conversations in the basement of Portland Center Stage, their main sponsor at that time. Now, Stumptown Speakers is one of the many chapters of TILE, the world’s largest conversation series, which spans into 357 cities and 47 countries.

For Lincoln’s 150th anniversary, Stumptown Speakers presents Cards Talk, their partner for this year.

Cards Talk is a group of Lincoln alumni, each of whom will be giving a talk for current Lincoln students and all others interested about experiences in their careers following their own Lincoln graduation.

That was the first time I figured out I could accomplish something I thought was impossible if I just worked at it every day.”

— David Bransberg, November Cards Talk Speaker

Senior Claire Hogenson, current student organizer for Stumptown Speakers, says that Cards Talk is “similar to the format of Stumptown, but instead of an interview, it’s just a 20 minute presentation followed by 20 minutes of answering questions from the crowd.”

Every TILE chapter is run by student organizers. Tanner Gill, a junior at Lincoln, and Elizabeth Merendez, a senior, are the other two student organizers helping run the Portland chapter this year. Next year, Stumptown Speakers will be run by current Lincoln students Alex Karnstein, Allen Jennings, and Tanner Gill.

In addition to providing students with free admission to hear a variety of speakers touch on a multitude of topics, Stumptown Speakers gives high school students the ability to practice their own leadership skills, as each chapter is entirely run by its student organizers.

This month’s speaker, David Bangsberg, started his Stumptown Speakers talk by recalling his experience in a chemistry class his first year at Lincoln. Walking into the class on the first day of school, it was announced by his teacher that chemistry would be the most difficult class any of the students in the class take in their high school careers, but that if they studied for 20 minutes every day, they should be fine.

“That was the first time I figured out I could accomplish something I thought was impossible if I just worked at it every day,” said Bangsberg, recalling how he studied for not 20, but 40 minutes a day for the class.

Bangsberg went on to tell the story of how he left high school wanting to study brain science, but after arriving in Baltimore and realizing the gravity of public health, especially around certain impoverished areas, he decided to work in a clinic testing people for HIV/AIDS.

Soon, Bangsberg discovered his true passion lied with public health, and therefore decided to drop his full ride scholarship to help start a program to help treat people with a “miracle drug” for people with HIV/AIDS.

In addition to the story of his own career, Bangsberg talked about the importance of public health not just in terms of health but in homelessness. He said that after moving back to Portland he realized how big the issue of homelessness truly was in our community.

Bangsberg said in order to combat the homelessness problem in Portland as well as other cities, as a society we must invest in science, discover how poverty impacts child development, and recognize “that being poor is not a crime”.

The partnership between Cards Talk and Stumptown Speakers this year allows Lincoln students to hear about the careers and insights of those shared by Lincoln alumni like Bangsberg this November, as well as discover how impactful their time at Lincoln was in shaping them into the successful people they are today.

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