Don’t Worry, The Future Is In Good Hands: 10 Trailblazing Children Who Can Inspire Us All

February 23, 2018  |  
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While some of us were busy playing games and making irresponsible decisions in our younger years, these ambitious children have it all figured out and are on a great path to a successful future. From being founders and CEOs, to giving back to their communities and changing the status quo, these young girls and boys can inspire us all to do better.

These inspirational children, all under the age of 18, continue to show us that age is just a number and one is never too young to make a difference.

Marley Dias

As an active reader, Dias got tired of reading books about “white boys and their dogs” and decided she was going to do something about that. In 2015, Dias launched her campaign #1000BlackGirlBooks in which she aimed to collect and donate books that highlighted Black girls. Reaching well over her original 1,000 book goal, Dias has collected over 9,000 books and continues on her mission to ensure proper representation in literature. At the young age of 13, Dias is not only an activist but has also recently added author to her resume with her book, Marley Gets It Done: And So Can You!

Cory “Mr. Cory” Nieves

At just 6 years old, Cory Nieves, best known as Mr. Cory, already had the passion and desire to be an entrepreneur. Tired of taking the bus with his single mom, Lisa Howard, Cory decided to start selling hot cocoa in hopes of raising enough money to help his mother buy a car. From selling hot cocoa to lemonade and ultimately cookies, Cory’s dedication and persistence eventually led him to become founder and CEO of his own company, Mr. Cory’s Cookies.  The all natural and gourmet treats come in a variety of flavors. Sugar, oatmeal raisin and double dark chocolate are fan favorites that have helped Nieves’s company work with leading brands like Macy’s, Mercedes-Benz and Ralph Lauren. Not to mention, he has also secured a spot on the 18 Under 18 Fortune List for young innovators who are changing the world.

Annika Viswesh

Annika Viswesh is the perfect example of using your hardships to fuel your purpose. At just one year old, Viswesh became legally blind due to a condition known as amblyopia. While she has undergone various procedures to improve her eyesight, this experience encouraged her to develop an invention to make the process of dealing with amblyopia an easier one for other children. In the 8th grade, Viswesh created the Oculus Patch Assistant, which assists in the effectiveness of the intense amblyopia treatment process. With a smart sensor, smartphone app and a machine that learns algorithms, Viswesh has managed to create an invention that makes the lifestyle of those with amblyopia a lot easier. Although not often discussed in society, the disorder affects roughly 12 million children worldwide and inventions such as the Oculus Patch Assistant can benefit many. 

Mikaila Ulmer

After being stung by a bee, Ulmer became fascinated with them and her fascination quickly turned into admiration once she realized how pivotal they are to our ecosystem. She also learned that over the years the bee population has decreased significantly and Ulmer’s idea for Me & The Bees Lemonade aimed to fix this problem. Her lemonade is sweetened with honey instead of the usual sugar and artificial flavoring. This contributes to the preservation of bees, is a healthier option for consumers and also happens to keep the beekeepers in business. As for Ulmer’s business, in 2015 she snagged a $60,000 investment after appearing on the popular reality show Shark Tank.

Jazz Jennings

At just 17 years old, Jazz Jennings is making a difference for transgender children. At three years old, she became one of the youngest people to identify as trans in the public eye. Born a male, Jennings has always identified with being a woman and is currently in the process of confirming her gender confirmation surgery. An advocate for the trans community, Jennings uses her public platform to educate others on their experiences. She is co-founder of Trans Kids Purple Rainbow, an author of two books and the star of the TLC Series, I Am Jazz. 

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Jaylen Arnold

Jaylen Arnold is an activist and actor who aims to put an end to school bullying. A victim of bullying in his early years due to a speech impediment associated with Tourette’s Syndrome, Arnold, at the age of five years old, created Jaylens Challenge in the hopes of bringing awareness and ultimately an end to bullying in our school systems. His campaign produces anti-bullying gear, books, posters and various material to assist teachers. Nearly 10 years since its inception, Arnold continues to spread positivity and love with his challenge and has received the attention of many big names in the industry. In 2017, Prince Harry and Prince William awarded Arnold with the Princess Diana Legacy Award in honor of their mother for his humanitarian efforts.

Khloe Thompson

Khloe Thompson is a 9-year-old philanthropist who founded Khloe Kares, a charitable organization that caters to homeless women. On her daily commute to school, Thompson would always feel sorry for the homeless people she would pass along the way and decided she needed to do something to help. With the assistance of her mother and grandmother, Thompson sewed homemade bags, which she later named Kare Bags, and filled them with feminine products, toothpaste, deodorant, soap and other necessities to deliver to the homeless women in the community. She plans to open up a community center for homeless people in the future.

Gitanjali Rao

With Flint, Michigan undergoing a clean water crisis, Gitanjali Rao invented a device that can detect lead in drinking water. The device, called a Tethys after the Greek goddess of water, uses carbon nanotubes and cylindrical structures to identify if the water is contaminated. The carbon nanotube sensors have a visible reaction when exposed to lead and the opposite effect when exposed to clean water. The device of this young girl, just 11 years old,  can ultimately solve the problems of many dealing with contaminated water worldwide.

Bishop Curry V

At just 10 years old, Bishop Curry has created many gadgets. Saddened by the death of an infant child left in a hot car, Curry’s most recent device is meant to prevent further tragedies of this nature. The Oasis is a fan that automatically turns on when a child is in a non-moving vehicle that reaches a certain temperature. The device attached to the car seat then blows cool air. With more than 36 children dying from hot car deaths yearly, this young man’s invention will hopefully lower such statistics.

Maya Penn

Designer, activist, cartoonist, animated filmmaker and CEO, Maya Penn is changing the face of design. At just 16 years old, Penn founded Maya’s Ideas, which provides environmentally-friendly fashionable clothing for the public. This line produces T-shirts, dresses, jewelry, hats, scarves and much more, and continues to focus on sustainability. Between 10 and 20 percent of Penn’s profits are donated to nonprofits and charities worldwide.

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