25 Girls Who Prove That We Can Change The World Before We're 25

25 Girls Who Prove That We Can Change The World Before We're 25

Whatever your thing is, there's a role model in here somewhere.

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Young girls get a bad rap. We have an internalized imaged seared into our minds. We, consciously or subconsciously, are made to think of the annoying, dramatic, ungrateful, risk-taking, boy-mad monsters that shouldn't be taken too seriously. In fact, that is what most of history has done: not taken us "too seriously" by erasing the narrative of half the population.

As a teenage girl myself, I don't get it; I've seen women my age accomplish incredible feats with the grace and truth they're destined to bestow. Mine is a glorious perspective of my identity group by which I'd love you to be empowered. Let's sprinkle some feminist positivity around like confetti.

The following is a list of young women who altered their lives and the lives of little girls after them. These ladies engage in everything from unapologetic activism to summiting unforeseen artistic peaks to intellectual achievements that boggle to the adult mind and more. Whatever your thing is, there's a role model in here somewhere.

1. Mary Shelly

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When most people turn twenty-one, they get trashed. When Mary Shelly turned twenty-one, she published her most famous novel: "Frankenstein" and invented the genre of science-fiction.

2.  Claudette Colvin

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Heard of Rosa Parks? Well, this fifteen-year-old firecracker actually pulled that move first. She pioneered the road of pacifism in not yielding her seat to a white man and was arrested in Alabama as a young leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

3. Malala Yousafzai

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Where do I start with this angel? Malala was only eleven when she started writing articles for the BBC, describing her life under Taliban rule. When she was fifteen, Malala advocated for Pakistani girls' education and, in turn, a terrorist group shot her in the head. She survived. By the time she was young and sweet (only seventeen), she received the Nobel Peace Prize.

4. Joan of Arc

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Joan rose from poverty at the age of fifteen to head her beloved French army during the battle at Joan Orléans. The French won. Experts argue that this decisive victory made England decide not to conquer France during the Hundred Years War. A national heroine with God's backing? Yes, please.

5. Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, A.K.A. Lorde

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This kiwi was sixteen when she broke into the music business and a short year later, she won a Grammy!

6. Mary Joachim

Arguably the first evangelist and one of the most popular saints, the Virgin Mary birthed Jesus of Nazareth (and did a whole bunch of existence-altering activities that I recommend you read for yourself in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) when she was probably twelve.

7. Bindi Irwin

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Now twenty years old, Bindi has always cared about carrying on her father's legacy of conservation and the respectful awe of nature. She started early with this mission by presenting a 26-part wildlife documentary at nine years old.

8. Jazz Jennings

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Jazz Jennings, a transgender girl, is famous for being one of the youngest publicly documented people to proudly identify as transgender in America. She was born in 2000!

9. Mo'Ne Davis

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Being thirteen is challenging, but Mo'Ne did it better than all of us when she challenged gender stereotypes in athletics. She was the first girl to earn a pitch a flawless shutout and win the game in all of Little League World Series history.

10. Trisha Prabhu

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This lovely human is a teenage advocate for anti-bullying and the brilliant inventor of the patented ReThink™ Technology, which aids servers in detecting and ending online hate.

11. Emma Gonzalez

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Don't call B.S. on this girl's power. As a high school senior she survived the Parkland shooting and, as a brave response, co-founded the gun-control advocacy group Never Again.

12. Cleopatra VII

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Bow down, literally. Subsequent to coming to the throne at eighteen, Cleopatra ruled over Egypt for nearly three decades.

13. Kylie Jenner

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What can I say? Jenner is expected to become the youngest billionaire with her massively successful business. I didn't say it, Forbes did.

14. Eva Peron, A.K.A. Evita

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While this Argentine woman was under twenty-five and married to her nation's president, Juan Perón, she became a vital symbol for the lower economic classes through unofficial political finessing.

15. Helena Rubinstein

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An immigrant and cosmetics entrepreneur, Rubenstein was the founder of Helena Rubinstein Incorporated, which made her one of the world's richest women at a young age. Lipstick holds influence.

16. Rosalind Franklin

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While all women on this list are under appreciated, Rosalind might take the cake for being stripped of recognition. Undercut by her male peers, she was at university when she discovered the double helix molecular structure of DNA, changing science forever but getting zero credit until she died.

17. Mirabai

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A Hindu saint and devotee of Sri Krishna who defied social norms for her faith, need I say more?

18. Rowan Blanchard

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Known just as much for her activism as her acting, Rowan Blanchard takes ownership of her voice for the next generation.

19. Alexandra Scott

Despite only living four years, Alexandra Scott left the world brighter than she found it. Before she began kindergarten, she ran an inspirational lemonade stand to raise money for childhood cancer research. Touched by her testimony and drive, people around the world set up their own lemonade stands to raise money for her cause. By the time of her passing, she had raised a million dollars.

20. Ruby Bridges

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A symbol of peaceful progress, Rubi Bridges was the first African-American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school.

21. Capri Everitt

In the least selfish move of anyone's adolescences, Capri Everitt was eleven when she started raising unreal amounts of money for orphans. Using her voice to make a positive impact, she traveled to dozens of countries and sweetly sang the nation's anthem in the national language. Funny what happens when you don't silence historically oppressed groups, huh?

22. Simone Biles

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Prepare to feel unathletic. Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast, with nineteen shiny Olympic and World Championship medals before she was legally allowed to drink.

23. Rupi Kaur

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Rupi Kaur was in college, unsure of her path (#relatable) when she decided to self-publish a poetry book that was so popular that you've probably seen someone with it in a coffee shop.

24. Anne Frank

With more bravery and composure than most grown people possess, this German-born Jewish girl recorded her emotions in a diary while hiding from the Nazi party. While everyone who reads her work agrees that she deserved the world, her story doesn't have a happy ending. Frank was found and taken to a concentration camp, where she died before she turned sixteen, leaving her words as her legacy.

25. Mari Andrew

Mari Andrew represents the best of millennials. She is a young writer and illustrator in New York City with a book out. If you haven't checked out her Instagram, I recommend seeing her work. Her pieces will detangle all your frantic, knotty, intrusive thoughts.

Women are really out here trying to do the right thing.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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President Trump’s Wall Is Not A Solution, It Causes More Harm Than You Think

After the second government shutdown since Donald Trump's inauguration, immigrants and opponents of the wall are not the only ones suffering.

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At this time of writing this, the government has been shut down for 19 days. Friday will be the first day that workers in one of the affected organizations will not receive a paycheck. Children on free lunch programs will have gone without this service for 19 days. Families on food stamps are unable to receive one of the most necessary and basic human rights. This is not an emotional tangent, but rather a reasonable suggestion to our government to do their jobs. Both political sides can be seen at fault, as a negotiation usually occurs between dissenting opinions. However, compromises are made through understanding and reasoning.

However, while our government converses about their views on the proposed wall, I will offer mine. With a price tag of $5 billion to construct, this is not a cheap and short-term project. Building this "border" will take money out of every American's pocket; our government simply does not have $5 billion in a savings account. Funding may occur in the form of taxes, which is already a system that has been reformed and looked over time and time again. If the administration follows through with their prior statements, then funding may also come from the budgets of other existing agencies. Additionally, since President Trump is a man of maximalism, the construction of a wall will impede on residential lives for those who live along the southern border. This affects major cities and towns such as San Diego, El Paso, and San Luis.

In a capitalist country where money and finances are a concern, there are many agencies that would thrive if they could obtain a fraction of this billion dollar proposal.

Schools need funding. The criminal justice system and public defenders need funding. Women's health services, like Planned Parenthood, need funding (Planned Parenthood has stated that government money does not get used in abortion services). Did you know that Planned Parenthood only receives $500 million for their annual budget, which is 1/10th of the wall's budget? With a fraction of this budget, you could fund a project to provide clean and safe drinking water across the world. The governmental funding for the Environmental Protection Agency has been halved, and it is now less than the budget for this wall. Humanitarian services need funding. We could help the homeless and build walls… four walls for a shelter, that is. Remember Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria? There are still people without power- our government is responsible and needs money to aid these citizens.

I understand that people want stricter security and immigration services. A wall is not a solution. Airplanes exist- people can fly over the wall. Boats exist- traveling to America via water occurs. Building a power symbol cannot solve a "national emergency," as Donald Trump believes; the national emergency lies in the suffering Americans who will be impacted by the attempts to get this wall built.

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