Talk about overachievers! These inspiring teen girls show it’s never too early to start making your mark.
No list like this would be complete without Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since being shot in 2012 by Taliban gunmen, she’s come a long way. Her organization, The Malala Fund, promotes education for girls and helps Syrian refugee children.
This August, Alissa’s Indiegogo campaign The Hot Seat: one child too many raised $20,000, exceeding her $5,000 target. The Hot Seat is a monitor that can be used on any infant, toddler or booster seat. If the product detects a problem (too much heat or if the caregiver is too far away), it sets off an alarm. With a patent in hand, Alissa is on the way to saving lives.
Six years ago, Katie received a cabbage seedling from a third-grade gardening program she was a part of. She planted the seedling in her parents’ garden, where she watered and fertilized it regularly. When her cabbage was fully grown, it weighed 40 pounds. Katie donated her cabbage to a local soup kitchen. Katie was so inspired by the thought of feeding more people that she began vegetable gardens to donate the harvest. Today, her nonprofit, Katie’s Krops, has donated thousands of pounds of veggies to organizations that help people in need.
After Trisha heard about a girl who killed herself after being buillied online, she decided to find a long-term solution to cyber-bullying. After months of research, she created the product Rethink, which gives teenagers who are about to post mean messages on social media a chance to reconsider before they post. When the concept was tested on 300 middle school and high school students, she found that adolescents were 93.4 percent less likely to post the messages when Rethink was being used. She holds a provisional patent for Rethink.
After taking her 13-year-old sister shopping for bras, Megan was mortified at the overly sexual bras available for tweens. She chose to create her own and started Yellowberry, a company that offers young girls comfortable and colorful bras with fun names like Ladybug, Sugar Cookie and Junebug.
Six years ago, Tavi started a fashion blog called Style Rookie, which featured selfies of her in spunky outfits. It wasn’t long before her blog started drawing around 30,000 readers a day. Tavi was invited to attend New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, and she wrote articles for Harper’s Bazaar as well as Barneys.com, among others. In 2011, Tavi founded Rookie Magazine for teenage girls, which gets about 3.5 million hits a month. As if all that weren’t enough, she’s starring in the Broadway play This Is Our Youth.
Four years ago, Allyson read the book “Generation Change” by Zach Hunter, which tells the stories of teenagers completing service projects around the country. She was so inspired to make a difference that she created Threads For Teens. Allyson’s first goal was to to outfit 10 deserving girls from extreme poverty or foster care in two brand-new, head-to-toe outfits. Threads for Teens has now grown to a nonprofit organization and has outfitted more than 1,600 girls. Want to nominate a teenage girl? Check out the requirements.
Six years ago, Katelyn searched for socks to wear with her flip-flops when the weather wasn’t so nice. She couldn’t find flip-flop socks anywhere, so she created her own. Pretty soon, her friends wanted to buy some from her, and freetoes was born. Today, Katelyn’s socks are sold across the U.S. and Canada. A young woman after our own heart, Katelyn has donated more than 300 pairs of freetoes to Project Aftershock, an organization that brings medical services to the people of Haiti through thrift store sales.
Two years ago, Brooke invented iCPooch to stay in touch with her golden retriever Kayla. The automated treat-dispensing device and application lets pet owners video chat with and give treats to their furry loved ones via any mobile device.