Select Page

Time magazine produced a list this week of what it calls the 25 most influential teenagers.

Call it a mixed bag. Ages 13 through 19, they range from celebrities, athletes and young entrepreneurs to celebrities, reality stars and ordinary kids who have achieved the extraordinary. Some on the list might surprise you, as in wondering how or why they made it, while others net a “right on!” or “atta boy/girl!” declaration.

Time listed the youngsters from youngest to oldest. Let’s split this blog in two. Today, we’ll look at the teens that are ages 13 through 16.

The article led off with Little Leaguer Mo’ne Davis, who commanded national attention as a black female pitcher for the Philadelphia Taney Dragons in the 2014 Little League World Series. While the Dragons fell in the tournament, Mo’ne made a name for herself by pitching a shutout game in the process.

Call it a definite “girl power” moment and an inspiration for young female athletes, especially those who play in the male-dominated Little League. She graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, to boot.

You go, girl! 😉

Next on the list, President Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia. While part of the first family, what have they really done to influence? Well, Time noted that Sasha, 13, wore a unicorn shirt from ASOS that apparently influenced others to buy it, selling it out, while Malia, 16, caused a stir at a music festival in Chicago and has a name that has picked up in popularity as much as her president father.

OK then. …

Moving on, actress Kiernan Shipka, 14, and transgender figure Jazz Jennings, 14, who self-describes as “a girl brain but a boy body,” come next. Kiernan has been in the spotlight since she was 5, and Jazz co-wrote a children’s book loosely based on her life, according to the Time article, in an effort to help children understand what transgender means. The latter deserves accolades for facing a topic that could prove difficult to address.

Hungry? Flynn McGarry, 15, wants to eventually satisfy appetites by having “the best restaurant in the world.” According to Time, he built a high-tech kitchen in his bedroom, started his own supper club in his mother’s California home and gained notoriety in magazine articles and on TV.

In a word: Yum!

Another 15-year-old, Erik Finman, has a bet with his parents: If he makes $1 million before he turns 18, he can forfeit college.

And how does he plan to do this? Via a website he started called, which according to Time offers tutoring services via video chat for teens.

Very wise. Very clever. Way to go, Erik!

The 16-year-old sect proves quite successful, too. If you have a tween or teenaged child, then you’ve probably heard of Vine, a social media form that boasts six-second comedic videos. On many of those videos is the face, voice and actions of Nash Grier, who according to Time dubs himself the “King of Vine.” Rightfully so, as he has more than 9 million followers. His antics have garnered him endorsement deals.

Well played.

Actor Rico Rodriguez of ABC’s “Modern Family” fame can boast of financial freedom mid-way on the trip to 20. The article notes that could earn as much as $115,00o an episode if the series hits its eighth season. He won’t have to worry about having to rely on family to buy his first car, huh? 🙂

The stereotype that girls shy from science was shattered by a trio of Irish gals whose science fair project impressed judges. Ciara Judge 16, and Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow, both 17, took the grand prize of the Google Science Fair with discovering that a bacteria can advance germination of cereal crops, increasing the yield. Pretty impressive, and the article notes that the three plan to commercialize their discovery and help resolve the global food crisis.

The last two in the age 16 range include entertainers. Another Vine celebrity, Shawn Mendes, touted six-second cover songs. He got noticed, producing a first single that netted a first EP (extended play) that topped the iTunes charts just 37 minutes after its release, according to the article.

I might have to give him a listen. To be honest, I’ve never heard of him! …

Rounding out the 16-year-olds on the list is Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s son Jaden, who has starred in films but apparently has also racked up a following on Twitter with modern-day observations about life.

So there you have it, so far. What do you think? Is our future in good hands, or should we hope for the best and fear the worst? Share your thoughts in the comment section.