Changemakers? Young Girls Lead The Way
We often wonder what could we really do for the society, what can be done in order to sustain our values, how can the system run along? But how many of us actually step out and take charge of anything? Well here are five kids showing us that age is no excuse!
1. 11-year-old Mikaila Ulmer from Texas, whose passion for bees led her to create an $11 million business: Mikaila Ulmer’s journey to a multimillion dollar business started off when she was stung by a bee twice in the same week. The painful experience led her to learn more about the insects… And she gained some sympathy along the way. Research showed her that bees are dying from colony-collapse disorder.
Ulmer decided to sell a modified version of her grandmother’s flaxseed lemonade — adding honey as her special ingredient — with a portion of her profit going as donations to fund the protection the bees.
Talk about a million dollar idea — She has gone on to win $60,000 in startup money from the TV show Shark Tank while catching the attention of Whole Foods markets, which stocks her Me & The Bees lemonade in 55 stores in the US, recently giving Ulmeran $11 million distribution deal. Recently, the sixth grader was invited to the White House to meet President Obama and was named one of the Top 10 Innovators of the Year by South By Southwest.
2. 9-Year-Old Muskaan Ahirwar who runs a Library in Bhopal, India: Muskaan Ahirwar, a class 3 student from Bhopal runs a library to educate other kids in a slum area in Arera Hills, Bal Pustakalay. Like any other 9-year-old, Muskaan goes to school, is curious about new things and loves playing in her free time.
The idea of opening up a library came into existence in December last year when the local branch of the Rajya Siksha Kendra united the slum in one place. The realization about the children in that slum and their behavior towards studying led them startup a library.
Everyday around 4pm, after school, Muskan reads for slum children outside her house. The students surround her to listen to her stories and read their books. And how did they choose Muskan to do so? The members of the Siksha Kendra held a quiz competition among the kids, which Muskaan won. Since then, she was given the responsibility of educating other students in the slum.
3. 13-Year-Old Charlie Coons from CA, is spreading World Peace, One Blanket at a Time: The whole work started when the sixth-grader Charlie Coons heard stories about children who had no shoes, no proper warmth on cold nights… from her big brother who volunteered at an orphanage in Jordan. She was so affected by all the stories, that she created a team of other volunteers in her town offering the orphanages fleece blankets. Soon they had 50 blankets to ship. But she didn’t stop there.
She influenced her dad too to join their squad. Her dad is a Rotary Club member and is lining up to speaking engagements in their area for Charlie, so she can raise money for her new group, which she called HELP (Hope Encouragement Love Peace).
Her goal is to send blankets to orphanages around the world. HELP has sent some 700 blankets to nine nations and next she wants to establish HELP chapters in all 50 states (Oklahoma, North Carolina, and California are already members).
4. Teenage girls from Dharavi, Mumbai become Coders, develop Apps for Education, Recycling and Women Safety: It all started with an initiative by filmmaker Nawneet Ranjan back in 2012. He was documenting the daily lives of people in Dharavi and found his way to these girl coders. Ranjan, a resident of San Fransisco, moved to Mumbai, upon seeing the lack of inspiration in the girls’ lives. He started boosting their confidence and began a slum innovation project in Naya Nagar, calling it Dharavi Diary of 2014.
The girls had learnt coding, and used an open source app development tool, MIT App Inventor, to create their apps through Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Learning Program.
Today, the 12- to 14-year-old girls of Dharavi, named the ‘Dharavi coders’, have developed an app that takes care of most of their everyday problems including Education, Recycling and Women Safety.
The app ‘Women Fight Back’ has a distress alarm, SMS alerts and location mapping, along with a feature for emergency contact numbers. The app also teaches subjects such as Maths, English and Science through photographs of an objects. You can develop ideas to recycle items to create new products too from the app.
5. 12-Year-Old Winter Vinecki from Salem, Oregon is racing against Cancer: One day she was racing and has had raised $1,100 donation for cancer research. Then and there, an idea hit her that she and other athletes together could raise even more money for health causes by competing in races and triathlons. So a nonprofit firm, Team Winter was started up.
But she never imagined that her interest in donating for cancer research would land her terribly close to home. In 2008 her dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Only 9 years old then, Winter swam, cycled, and ran her way through a triathlon and with other Team Winter athletes. Together they collected more than $100,000 for prostate cancer awareness and research.
Her website, Facebook, and Twitter pages helped Winter spread the word, and today Team Winter counts some 200 athletes, who have brought in more than $250,000.
Feature Image Credit: richmondkickers.com
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