Changing the world is no easy feat, and it’s even harder when you haven’t even graduated high school. Yet throughout the years there have always been youngsters who rise far and above the expectations, and sometimes even the achievements, of adults in their lives and wow us all. If there is one thing to learn, it’s that you shouldn’t discount children just because of their age, because they can do some incredible things. Here are five amazing kids who are already doing their part to change the world for the better.
1. Austin Perine
Many four-year-olds love running around in superhero capes, but not every toddler is changing lives while doing it. With the help of his father, Austin regularly visits homeless shelters around Birmingham, Alabama, dropping off meals and spreading smiles as he goes.
Austin’s work outfit consists of his billowing red cape and all blue shirt, shorts, and shoes. The shirt has the little hero’s catchphrase on the front of it, #ShowLove. In his own words, “Show love means you care about someone no matter what they look like.” While the outfit resembles Superman, Austin does not take the moniker for himself, preferring to be called President Austin.
Austin’s dad states the beginning to the boy’s heroism was sparked by watching a nature documentary, in which he was told that a panda cub left by its mother would become homeless. He did not understand what that word meant, and part of explaining its meaning to him involved Austin’s dad taking him to a local city shelter.
Immediately Austin wished to provide food to those at the shelter and swore to spend his weekly allowance on food to deliver. Burger King ended up sponsoring his dream further, providing him with a $1,000 monthly allowance so he could spread even more love.
2. Greta Thunberg
Not many sixteen-year-olds can say they’ve been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, but Greta Thunberg is no ordinary teen. She is a young environmental activist, speaking at a standalone TED talk conference in Stockholm in November of 2018, again in December of 2018 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, and most recently in January of 2019 when she was invited to speak at the Davos hosted World Economic Forum.
In August of 2018, Greta lead her first claim to activism fame. Having just started ninth grade, the young girl began striking from her own school until the conclusion of the 2018 general election in Sweden, providing her demands were met. The demands were that the Swedish government reduce its carbon emissions in line with the Paris agreement.
After the general election, she continued to strike on Fridays, sitting outside the Riksdag with a sign reading “Skolstrejk för klimatet”, translated to school strike for the climate. She inspired other students to hold strikes and walkouts of their own in over 270 cities and continues to be an advocate and activist for the environment and climate change efforts.
3. Mikaila Ulmer
While she is only fourteen now, Mikaila states that her story began when she was only four years old, when her family encouraged her to come up with a product to submit to the Acton Children’s Business Fair, as well as for the Austin Lemonade Day. She states she mulled over past beestings she had endured that lead her to be oddly fascinated with the winged creatures as well as an old family recipe for lemonade handed down from her great grandmother.
Combining the two points of inspiration, Mikaila decided she wanted to create something that could help out honeybees, as they are experiencing a lot of trouble these days while remaining vital to our ecosystem. Using her great granny’s recipe, she came up with Me & the Bees lemonade, sweetened with local honey.
A donation of all sales are donated to local and international organizations who are fighting to protect and save honeybees, and Mikaila’s personal tag for Me & the Bees is “Buy a bottle…Save a bee.” She has also created her own Facebook page where visitors can learn more interesting facts about honeybees, honey, and her lemonade.
4. Bana Alabed
Spreading heartfelt pleas for aid peace in her hometown of Aleppo, Syria, nine-year-old Bana al-Abed has made quite a few waves via Twitter and other social media platforms. With the help of her English-speaking mother, Bana has crafted signs and Tweets to bring visibility to the poor conditions of her homeland, torn apart by the cruelty of war, airstrikes, home loss, and hunger.
While some have doubted the sincerity of these messages or wondered how heavy-handed the Tweets may have been handled by the girl’s mother, there is no doubting how strong and brave the young lady is for putting her messages out there in such a frightening environment.
Bana has had her own memoir (so far) published, appeared on various television interviews to discuss her views and stances, and was awarded the Rising Star Award at The Asian Awards in 2018.
5. Samaira Mehta
There are few ten-year-old inventors, and even less of those are spreading and teaching their love of coding to the masses. Samaira says that her love for coding and board games is what lead to the creation of her massively successful company, Coder Bunnyz. The game teaches players all the core concepts needed to be successful in computer programming. Samaira wants to captivate those of any age or gender and teach them this highly desirable skill.
In a jaw-dropping display of accomplishments, Samaira has worked on over 50 workshops and helped teach over 2,000 children, and she has received official recognition from the White House, the Santa Clara Board of Education, been awarded the Youth Entrepreneur award, spoken at over 11 conferences, and seen her game used in over 105 schools in over 11 countries in the world.
With the money she is making from the success of Coder Bunnyz, Samaira wishes to pair up with charitable organizations, particularly ones geared towards helping the homeless. She particularly has mentioned working together with PATH, “People Assisting the Homeless” and would ideally like to give a total of 5% of her profit to them as she continues to grow.