Garbage pick up

Yes Theory BC takes off in Houston

Yes Theory BC takes off in Houston

Yes Theory BC is taking off in Houston, because of the efforts of an eager teenager, his sister, and some of their friends.

Yes Theory, according to young Ton Tran, the founder of the new BC chapter, is part of an online movement that urges people to take chances, by intentionally “seeking discomfort.” The slogan on the Yes Theory webpage is “Life’s most beautiful moments and meaningful connections exist outside our comfort zones.”

“It’s basically seeking discomfort, like talking to strangers, and saying yes to opportunities that if you say no to, you might miss out on enjoyable things in life,” said Tran.

While Tran has been captivated by the movement, he really wanted to put it to good use, rather than just glean Youtube views like the original Yes Theory team does.

After taking a leadership course at his school this past year, and getting a taste of what real community involvement is like, he didn’t want that to end when he graduated.

And he was further inspired when he had the opportunity to meet an idol of his.

“I participated in a leadership conference, and we spoke to many inspirational motivational speakers around the country… We were listening to a live stream Zoom talk, and one speaker was Sam Demma. And he had a very similar story,” said Tran.

“He’s like a motivational speaker and like an entrepreneur kind of. And he believes in small consistent actions. When he was younger, one of his teachers told him small consistent actions can make dreams come true, and so Sam wanted to try that challenge. So, every day he picked up garbage,” added Tran.

Demma, who is only 20 years old, became known in his community for his humanitarian actions. He is also now a motivational coach for youth. And he’s given a number of TEDx Talks.

Tran uses one of Demma’s quotes about small consistent actions on his own Instagram account. He was floored when Demma reached out to him personally after seeing his account with the quote. They spoke on the phone, and Demma offered guidance, and ideas for other community projects, like starting a Houston Pickwaste chapter (the same name Demma uses for his garbage picking project), which Yes Theory BC now hosts weekly.

“It just kind of blew my mind,” said Tran, about how he felt hearing from Demma directly.

Tran runs Yes Theory BC with his assistants Emily Brockerville, Pryia Minhas, his sister Naomi Tran, and a past teacher, Lyndsey Williams. Other key volunteers include Reid Stump, Juliana Maciel, Gunner Kaiser, and Dustin Haftner.

In addition to the weekly Pick Waste meetups, Yes Theory BC has also shot a video for the Buck Creek Cranfor Hatchery and Nature Centre; And this past Saturday, the team hosted a community ice cream truck event with ice cream treats supplied by Buy Low Foods.

There are also plans in the works for a community BBQ in partnership with Northern Health sometime in the coming days (dates yet to be determined). Anyone willing to volunteer with the group or help host an event is welcome, said Tran.

While he’s off to University of Victoria in the fall for a biochemistry degree, he hopes to take Yes Theory BC with him.

“One thing I learned from this is that as long as you ask, and as long as you have a good reason of why you’re doing something, generally people are nice enough to give stuff,” he said.

The original Yes Theory group was founded in 2015, by a group of three young men who started challenging themselves to be in uncomfortable situations, like getting their ears pierced, trying stand up comedy, and making a special handshake with a mayor. They filmed what they were doing, and posted it on Youtube. They gained a following, and eventually a source of income from it, too.