When it comes to creating new things, the challenges that come with that can be daunting. 

Fortunately for these 15 talented young people, challenges are just things waiting to be overcome. From activists to entrepreneurs, learn more about 15 young people leaving their mark on the world.

1. Little Miss Flint

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#Reunited with my President

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Mari “Little Miss Flint” Copeny’s work as an activist shows a wisdom well beyond her years. The 11-year-old Flint, Michigan native made national headlines after her letter to former president Barack Obama about her hometown’s toxic water crisis helped get his attention and later $100 million in funding to help remedy the situation.

2. Naomi Wadler

Fifth-grader Naomi Wadler’s powerful speech at this past spring’s March for Our Lives rally left an indelible impression on everyone who heard it. After seeing older middle and high school students speak up against gun violence after recent tragedies, Naomi wanted to also do something to speak up for Black women, a group often forgotten when gun violence is discussed.

3. Mikaila Ulmer

Bee stings don’t generally lead to amazing lemonade, but for 13-year-old Mikaila Ulmer they have both helped start a successful career in entrepreneurship. After being stung by a bee while preparing for a youth business competition, Ulmer found a family recipe for lemonade that would be a core product of her Me and Bees Lemonade. Her products can be found in Starbucks and Whole Foods Markets nationwide.

4. Cory Nieves

At only 13 years old, Cory Nieves’ Mr. Cory’s Cookies brand has quickly taken off, landing in national retailers like Whole Foods Market. His original goal of not taking the bus anymore and helping his mother buy a car would later lead him to launch a business built around love.

5. Natalie McGriff

Natalie McGriff’s misadventures dealing with her hair and skin complexion would become the foundation for her own comic book, The Adventures of Moxie McGriff. McGriff wanted other people to feel better than she did and by creating a character with her mother that has special powers, she’s helped make others feel better one page at a time.

6. Bishop Curry V

Bishop Curry V was driven to create a device to help infants in hot cars after learning of a baby who died in a hot vehicle. Curry’s device can help alert parents, police and also release cool air on infants to keep them from overheating. A GoFundMe started with his father will help ensure Curry’s new product can make it to fruition.

7. Nyeeam Hudson

With hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, 12-year-old Nyeeam Hudson uses his voice to inspire other kids with positive messages and words of wisdom. With a book already under his belt, Hudson travels the world as a speaker and has become a positive influence in the process.

8. Marley Dias

Thirteen-year-old Marley Dias was tired of consistently reading stories about white boys, which led her to start her popular #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign. The campaign focuses on searching for 1,000 books featuring Black girls as leads while donating books to teachers with the intent of diversifying the collections of books people have to choose from.

9. Jelani Jones

Attending a class on how to make bath balms and soaps was the catalyst in Jelani Jones’ journey to starting her own business. The ten-year-old’s Lani Boo Bath products are made with all-natural ingredients and since Jones started her business in October 2016 they have quickly taken off.

10. Asia Newson

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Today was incredibly amazing!! ???? Ford Motor Company @ford has purchased the old Michigan Central Station. This building has been closed since 1988! It’s amazing to see Ford investing into our neighborhoods and bringing our Historic buildings back to life. I had the honor of meeting Mr. Jim Hackett, CEO & President of Ford Motor Company. Also, I had the honor of introducing Mr. Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford Motor Company and Great- Grandson of Henry Ford. Last, but DEFINITELY NOT LEAST, I had the honor of sitting on stage while watching the legendary Big Sean @bigsean perform! It was an amazing event. I was able to invite 3 of our newest mentees to the event with me, @ociethevirgin @gogetter.e and Sommer Martin! I’m looking forward to the new building! P.S – Don’t mind the footage quality! It’s Sommer’s Snapchat video lol.

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Thirteen-year-old Asia Newson’s business of selling candles has evolved from her buying candles wholesale from a distributor at the age of five to her now making almost $70,000 in annual revenue. The Detroit native’s father would serve as her mentor, and in the process of building her own business Newson has helped train 40 other kid entrepreneurs.

11. Egypt "Ify" Ufele

Egypt “Ify” Ufele turned the negative experience of being bullied over her weight into the idea of an all sizes fashion line. The 12-year-old designer’s work has been featured at New York Fashion Week features African motifs that invoke the beauty of the African diaspora in chic, stylish attire.

12. Madison Harrison

Ten-year-old Madison Harrison’s knack for photography led her to start her own photography business at the age of six. In addition to appearing on Steve Harvey’s daytime show, the photographer and entrepreneur was invited to a United State of Women summit hosted by former first lady Michelle Obama and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

13. Bailee Knighten

With her tenth birthday this year, Bailee Knighten’s nail design products have helped her form the foundation for an exciting new business. After originally starting out doing $5 manicures out of her home, Knighten eventually started her own business focusing on creating unique nail boxes featuring different products for customers to use at their leisure.

14. Beau Shell

Beau Shell’s tenacity in asking his mother to buy him an ice cream cart paid off in a major way. The 14-year-old’s Lil’ Ice Cream Dude LLC has won awards and allowed Shell to help show other young people the possibilities that come with diligent work in entrepreneurship. As the youngest member of his local chamber of commerce, Shell has ambitions well beyond his first ice cream cart.

15. Gabrielle Goodwin

As a savvy hair product consumer, Gabrielle Goodwin saw potential selling hair accessories for other Black girls that looked like her and capitalized. Her GaBBY Bows company began selling hair barrettes and accessories in 2014. Since then, her products have shipped to all fifth United State and various more locations worldwide.

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