When most of the kids at his age were attending high school, Jack Andraka was waking up early the morning for a mission to fight pancreatic cancer. Born on January 8, 1997, Jack was as ordinary as any of us until he discovered what pancreatic cancer was.
His small life was filled with incident and surprises, but there was an indication in his upbringing to suggest that he would be a teenage star. He and his elder brother were raised by his parents Steve, a civil engineer, and Jane, a nurse in suburban, Maryland. At the time in school, Jack won multiple rewards for science projects and gradually the basement of the home turned into a laboratory.
Then something terrible happened in his life. It was a close family friend, who was an uncle to him passed away from pancreatic cancer. Deeply moved by it, Jack even tried to commit suicide, an unsuccessful one.
Later he decided to look out for a way to find a cure for cancer. When he was 15, he developed a new sensor, which can spot the presence of cancer cells, a reliable and cheaper one. After 200 labs rejection, he finally found his way and in 2012 at international science competition, he won top award for detecting pancreatic cancer.
In this case, you’ll realize that age is just a number and if you are willing to work hard, you can achieve your dream no matter how big it is. Ann Makosinski was a 15-year-old Canadian high school student when she invented Hollow flashlight that converts the radiant body heat into electricity and turns on the light.
While she was in Victoria, Columbia, Ann was trying to figure out how to crop untapped energy then she learned that the warmth of our body can generate the electricity which humans overlooked since long. Her motive was to design a flashlight that lights up solely from the heat of our body instead of batteries or Kinetic energy.
After all the hard work and days of research, Ann flashlight worked which she created using the tiles for energy but with a concern, it would work better in the cold temperatures. Having said that, the flashlight is pretty convenient as it only took her $26 to make it.
Born on May 1, 1997, Alex Deans is a Windsor, Canadian teenage star. At the age of 12, when kids were playing, fighting and tossing around, he was using his time to create the iAid, a navigation system to help visually-impaired people.
He grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada with elder sister Nicola, younger brother Marcus and parents Robin Deans, an ophthalmologist, and Joan Deans. The Deans never pushed their boy to gain an excellent academics rather they allowed him to play out, basically, his early life showed no signs that he would be a young celebrity.
But when Alex was 12, he saw a blind woman grapple to cross the street, deeply carried away by the moment; he decided to create a device that helped blind people walk on their own and navigate well.
Alex taught himself to code, learned ultrasonic sensors, spent time at Canadian National Institute for the Blind and after refining the device for 2 years, he named it iAid. iAid is a navigation device that uses GPS and compass, and help in guiding the visually-impaired users to the right direction.
Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever to receive prestigious Nobel Prize was born on July 12th, 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan. The 15-year-old Malala was in a school van when the Taliban gunman stopped the vehicle and shot her at a point-blank range. Luckily she escaped it.
But before the incident happened, Malala had already managed to grab the attention by publishing her heartfelt diaries in BBC Urdu. But that particular appalling act propelled her to the International stage.
She was a fighter, kept fighting for the women education in northwest Pakistan, despite the solid effort of Taliban’s to overwhelm women education in the place. Targeted for promoting secular education’, Malala survived the horrendous shot at Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital. And today the world stands with Malala to fight for the right of women education and empowerment. Her journey was suffering and long one but it was worth it.
Out of 1.2 million Jews who lost their lives to Holocaust, Anna Frank still blooms in the mind and heart of the people through her diaries especially ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ one which her father Otto Frank, published in 1947. Its English version was published in 1952.
During the World War II, Frank, 13 at that time kept on hiding with the seven other people in the secret annex, Amsterdam to survive the Nazis.
At the age of 16, Frank lost her life in a Bergen-Belsen camp, just a few months before the war ended. Although Frank didn’t breathe to witness her amazing diaries, her writing has been casting light on the personal side of Holocaust for as long as we can remember.
In her very short life, Frank has been incredibly strong and brave to raise the awareness of the Holocaust.
At his age, when most of the kids were fighting for the candies or trying to learn the bike, Iqbal was working in a carpet factory in Pakistan. He would get up before dawn and worked there till its dark evening.
Born in 1983, in Punjab, Pakistan, Iqbal was at a tender age of 4 at the time when his parents sold him to pay the debt. At his 10, Iqbal made an unsuccessful attempt to escape the slavery after learning that bonded labor was illegalized by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
But young Iqbal didn’t stop here, for the second time he escapes the chains of slavery and this time he succeeded.
After the freedom, he joined Bonded Labour Liberation Front and freed at least 3000 Pakistani children from the bonded labor.
On April 16, 1995, Iqbal was shot dead while returning from a trip to America, but by the time he was already a prominent leader of the Anti-slave moment in Pakistan. He was an inspiration for thousands of people to fight for one’s freedom. Iqbal Masih believed that ‘Children should have pens in their hands, not tools’.
We all have heard about the Braille system of reading and writing for visually impaired people and blind. It was the invention of none other than 15-years-old Louis Braille, a French inventor.
In 1812, 3-years-old Braille lost his vision in both of the eyes (at age five, he completely lost his sight) during an accident in his father’s shop.
After the awful incident, Braille joined the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris, which proved to be a turning point in his life. There he started to work on a Braille system which helped blind people in reading and writing.
Despite the fact that his invention came into the public following his death, the system was a great help to read and write for those with eye impairments. His device of raised dots helped blind people to live a better quality life.
When Yash was 17, his glasses broke down after which he learned that he had a problem doing very basic things. Without the glasses replaced he couldn’t see much in the classroom so he came home learning nothing that one day.
The spectacles were later replaced, but the incident changes his life forever. He realized that there are so many kids out there who are dealing with similar problems, who are reading and writing with no glasses.
After which he did a plenty of research. To his shock, Yash found that there are more than 13 million children in the world who doesn’t have access to the suitable glass.
Most of the kids of his age may have turned their head around from the problem, but Yash decided to lend a helping hand. He opened an organization named Sight Learning, which aims to find glasses for the needy ones.
And as of 2013, he had collected 9500 pairs of glasses for the people all over the globe.
Nkosi Johnson (originally Xolani Nkosi)
Born with a life threating virus ‘HIV/AIDS, Nikosi was brave enough to survive till he was 12. His mother was an HIV positive so Nkosi had this fatal virus since the very early childhood.
AT the age of three, Nkosi gained wide media attention, when the school refused to get him admission. Following the incident, Nikosi was selected as an advocate for the victims of HIV/AIDS, raising awareness among the people suffering from the virus.
At the tender age of 12, Nkosi passed away, leaving great memories and lessons for everyone and especially those who are suffering from this dreadful virus. Nikosi together with his foster mother founded Nkosi’s Haven, which provides shelter for HIV Positive mother and infant.
When 19-year-old, Boyan Slat, came up with a device that claimed to collect all the floating plastic waste, every one of them in the world was shocked.
Born on 27 July 1994, Slat was amazed to find the plastic items than that of fish while diving in the Greece. To dig deeper, he decided to go after the plastic and choose ocean plastic pollution for his high school project.
In 2013, Slat, 18 created a device that can drastically reduce the plastic wastage in the ocean, and the process will reduce from millennia to years.His invention can surely reduce the wastage from the Ocean.