At Moonshot Pirates we always get inspired when young people stand up for what they believe in and #takeaction to contribute to a better tomorrow. It’s amazing to see what young changemakers can achieve if they set their mind to it. Having a positive impact on the world is not about how much experience, how much financial leverage, or how many connections you have. It’s about having a big vision and actively working towards it. Don’t believe us? Well, take a look at these nine young people who not only #doepicshit but also fight for a better future.
Isra Hirsi – 17 years old
Isra Hirsi is 17 years old and from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is an environmental activist and the co-founder of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike – a movement similar to Fridays for Future in Europe. Isra has coordinated hundreds of environmental strikes led by students and has even given a TEDx Talk on the topic in February 2020. Like Grethe Thunberg, Isra is a clear example that even a young voice can have a big impact.
Marley Dias – 16 years old
Marley Dias is the activist behind the #1000BlackGirlBooks Twitter phenomenon, launched in November 2015. Through her activism, 16-year-old Marley is raising awareness about the lack of diversity in school curriculums, which largely feature stories about white boys. With her Twitter hashtag, she helped spread awareness about the issue and even managed to collect 9,000 books with black girls as the main characters. Many of these were later donated to a children’s book drive in Jamaica. So even if you’re just sitting at home online, you can do a lot if you dare to dream.
Emma González – 21 years old
21-year-old Emma González is a co-founder of the organization Never Again MSD. After a deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 20 students decided that #enoughisenough and founded the organization in order to fight for an end to gun violence. Emma gave a speech against gun violence that went viral around the world (you’ve probably seen it) and placed her on Time’s list of 100 most influential People of 2018. Also, young leaders can be world leaders.
Jaylen Arnold – 20 years old
Jaylen Arnold is the 20-year-old founder of Jaylen’s Challenge Foundation. At the age of 8, Jaylen was bullied because of having Tourette’s Syndrome. With his foundation, he’s actively fighting to put an end to all bullying using education and community service as his main tools. Regardless of your circumstances, you can rise above your struggles and do good.
Jahkil Jackson – 13 years old
Jahkil Jackson was 8 when he founded Project Am I. After helping his aunt distribute food to homeless people, he felt a burning desire to contribute more. Jahkil now offers “Blessings Bags” to the homeless, a giveaway with water bottles, deodorant, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, and more. He has already impacted more than 50,000 people worldwide with his project. Find an issue you’re deeply passionate about, and nothing will stop you from having an impact.
Zuriel Oduwole – 18 years old
Zuriel Oduwole is 18 years old and an education advocate and filmmaker. At the age of 12, she became the world’s youngest filmmaker to have her work screened. Her films mostly revolve around the advocacy for the education of girls in Africa. Zuriel has also presented from a TEDx stage, at universities and UN events. She was courageous enough to follow a dream and she cared enough to reach it.
Jazz Jennings – 20 years old
20-year-old Jazz Jennings is an activist fighting for LGBT rights. She is the youngest person to publicly identify as transgender and spread awareness about it. She founded the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation to assist transgender youth. She also hosts a YouTube Show called I Am Jazz, sharing about her life as a transgender. Raising our voice when others can’t is the act of a real leader.
Gitanjali Rao – 15 years old
Gitanjali Rao is 15 years old and an author, a scientist and the first person to be named Kid of the Year by Time magazine. She has invented a lead-level measurement device for water, called Tethys, and developed an app for the prevention of cyber-bullying. She conducts innovation workshops all over the world and has also already given 3 TEDx talks. Find a passion that fuels you and you’ll become unstoppable.
Jack Andraka – 24 year old
24-year-old Jack Andraka invented a sensor that’s able to detect early signs of pancreatic and other kinds of cancer during his time in high school. He now studies at Stanford University, pursuing a career in anthropology and electrical engineering. Big issues concern all of us, not only adults. Even young people can create grand solutions for global challenges.
We Need More Moonshot Pirates
In our eyes, these are all Moonshot Pirates – courageous young changemakers, unafraid to #thinkbig, #daretolearn, and #takeaction. These young talents are only at the beginning of their life and still have so much time to have a big impact on the world. We look forward to seeing how their ideas and projects develop.
It is young people like these, young people like you, who will shape our future and create a better tomorrow. So #beapirate and change the world by being yourself!