This formerly homeless 10-year-old is giving back by using his allowance to buy material and sew clothes for homeless kids! Xavier Elliott and his family were forced to live in six different homeless shelters after his father returned from Iraq with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Now that the family is back on its feet, Elliott asked his mom how to use her sewing machine and makes clothes that he hopes to donate to shelters around Arizona.
Eight-year-old Christian McPhilamy was bullied over two years for his long, golden waist-length locks, which he grew out to donate to kids in need. It all started when the Florida kid saw a commercial about St. Jude's Children Research hospital and decided he wanted to help. Two years later, he finally cut it and donated his 10-inch locks to charity Children With Hair Loss in June.
Now 15, Maya Penn started her first company when she was only eight years old! The young entrepreneur is passionate about the environment and sells eco-friendly sustainable clothing and accessories. She donates a percentage of her profit to the organizations she cares about. Penn also has a non-profit called Maya's Ideas 4 The Planet. Her TedTalk has over 1 million views and she's been featured in numerous publications. Talk about inspiring!
This 10-year-old Australian surfer made major waves by rallying his fellow students to get involved with Hurley's Waves For Water program, which aims to provide clean drinking water for third world countries. With the help of donations from local businesses and supporters, Winter Vincent was able to buy 50 filtration systems, which will service 5,000 people!
Mary Grace Henry
We all know that girls getting educated makes their lives better and benefits their community, but there are still many places where families can't afford to send their daughters to school. 17-year-old Mary Grace Henry asked for a sewing machine for her birthday when she was just 12 after learning about child brides. Her goal? To sell enough headbands to send one girl to school. Henry has kept at it for five years, and 11,000 headbands later, she's sent 45 girls to school with her organization Reverse The Course, which donates all profits to girls mainly located in Kenya and Uganda. She was honored with the World Of Children Award in late 2014.
Alanna J. Wall
Alanna J. Wall wanted a way to use her passion for nail design to help others. After recruiting a few friends and family members, Polished Girlz was born. The organization works to spend time with sick children, painting their nails and spreading information about hand washing and infection reduction. Alanna's growing effort has already brightened the lives of thousands of children and built a network of hundreds of volunteers.
When his friend was diagnosed with cancer, Teagan Stedman felt the need to do something more than wish him to "get well soon." At only 8 years old, Teagan started "Shred Kids Cancer," an organization that puts together music events to benefit cancer research and treatment. Teagan's charity hosts a number of popular events such as Shredfest, where young musicians raise money by putting on a battle of the bands contest.
Following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Talia Leman felt the need to help those who were affected. After reaching out to her community of fellow young people, her efforts snowballed. Before long, Talia's charity had teamed up with U.S. schools across the country along with major corporate donors. The charity, now known as RandomKid, continues to help less fortunate children all over the world. Talia and her 12 million mobilized activists have provided much needed medical supplies, water pumps, and school assistance to communities on four different continents. The organization has also been the recipient of a number of awards and honors, including being designated a United Nations Champion of Intercultural Innovation.
After developing an app that allows users to whack a picture of Justin Bieber and make him scream, 16-year-old Thomas Suarez set out to develop technology that's a little more beneficial. He has since started his own company, CarrotCorp, at the age of 11 and is working to develop new ways of using cutting edge technology such as Google Glass and 3D printing. He is currently working on a 3D printer which he says will work 10 times faster than MakerBot, the current industry standard. Before the age of 20, Suarez has established himself as an entrepreneur, innovator, and an influential technologist. Could he be the next Steve Jobs?
Already equipped with an expansive resume, Adora Svitak is taking the world by storm. The writer, speaker and activist has led important discussions on issues such as feminism and youth empowerment, as videos of her talks reach view counts in the millions. Adora is a proud fighter for the inclusion of women in STEM career fields, as well as politics. She also organized her own TED event, TEDxRedmond, which featured speakers exclusively under the age of 20 and over 1000 attendees. Being so successful at such a young age is an extremely rare achievement and we can't wait to see what Adora has in store.
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