From a young age, I knew I wanted to make a difference.
I knew I wanted to create change in some way that would impact the world forever. I made uplifting cards for my friends to carry around and collected cans for the food bank.
I often ran into difficulties, however, because I was told that I was “too young to make a difference.” I felt discouraged by many of the adults in my life and messages I saw in the media. It felt almost impossible to create change at such a young age.
Thankfully, by high school, I realized the power youth holds. I realized that my voice had the power to make a difference and change the world. I started to speak up about issues I was passionate about and after I started identifying as a leader and activist, my whole world changed.
My only regret as an activist is that I didn’t see this inside myself earlier. I am now committed to making sure that young women realize the power their voice carries. One way to realize the true impact of youth voice is by seeing the amazing work young people are doing. Here are five sheroes under the age of ten who are truly making a difference.
When Khloe Thompson saw that there were members of her community who did not have the resources they needed, she made it her personal mission to provide them with handmade care packages. At only 8 years old, she started a non-profit organization called Khloe Cares which provides “Kare Bags” to the homeless individuals in her community. She’s donated over 7,600 items and served 400 women through her work.
At ten years old, Lulu Cerone learned a lesson that changed the course of her life forever. She realized that selling a cup of lemonade for only one dollar could provide individuals in Africa with clean drinking water. When she realized that change-making was this simple, she knew she had to keep going. Since then, her non-profit LemonAID warriors has raised around $100,000 for charities around the world.
While four emergency surgeries at only 8 years old sounds discouraging, McClain Hermes used this challenge to fuel and inspire her. She started a movement called Shoes For The Souls which has collected over 15,000 pairs of shoes for individuals around the nation. Currently, she is a Paralympic swimmer that currently holds 15 American records and continues to motivate individuals around the nation.
What started off as receiving a single seedling in the third grade turned into a movement that has impacted hundreds of students around the nation. Katie Stagliano received a single cabbage seed and watched it grow into a 40 pound plant. She then used it to feed members of her community. This experience inspired her to start Katie’s Krops, an organization that inspires individuals to start their own gardens in order to give back to their local communities. With over 100 gardens around the nation, her organization provides the tools, resources, and motivation to help others make change!
Riley Joy Gantt
I had the pleasure of meeting Riley Joy Gantt at a summit in 2015. She has understood the importance of giving back since she was ten years old and she started a non-profit organization called Rainbow Pack. Her organization provides backpacks full of school supplies to students throughout her community. Every year, she impacts thousands of individuals by giving them the tools and resources they need to learn.
These inspiring stories are a reminder that anyone can make a difference, regardless of their age. For these reasons, it is important that we spend our time and energy believing in and investing in the ideas of young women. Young minds truly have the power to change the world.