World4Children – inspiring kids

As stated in our vision, the goal of World4Children.org is to build a platform that will break the age barriers for communication and enable kids and adults to join as partners in discussing, and acting, on various pressing problems concerning kids and their future, be that at local community level or the global world arena.

We’re interested in reaching out to and connect with as many inspiring kids as possible –all over the world. We want to get an opportunity to learn more about their engagement with the adults and other kids that helped them be successful in a certain area generally considered as belonging to adults. In particular, we interested in any lessons learned and a kind of “what worked/didn’t work with the current system” knowledge to share with others.

To achieve this, we’ve launched a series of articles in which we will interview different kids and their parents. Beside learning about them, the goal of the series is to inspire other kids and adults to consider their place in their respective communities and make them think how to engage with others who are at a very different age level.

We hope you will enjoy learning about these amazing kids and think of ways to engage with them!

Dale J. Stephens

 

Dale J. Stephens -- 19 years old entrepreneur and unschooler

Dale J. Stephens, a 19-year old entrepreneur and unschooler, recently started a movement to bring unschooling concepts into higher education — UnCollege!

 

After initially following the curriculum in a traditional school setting, Dale began unschooling in 6th grade. As an unschooler he lived in France, started a photography business, worked as a campaign photographer, spent a summer at UCLA, and worked at a venture-backed education technology startup, Zinch.

Last fall, after finishing ‘high school’ in his own unschooling way, he followed the societally-accepted path and enrolled in college. After his frustrations with college compounded recently, he realized how little he appreciated the opportunities to learn from life that he had whilst unschooling.  So he decided to revolutionize higher education by bringing some of the ideas of unschooling to college!

We are inspired by his bold idea and wish him good luck in providing an opportunity for students to learn outside the book!

His message to the parents: If you want your kids to rock the world, you need to let them be creative and innovative: school doesn’t teach that!

To read the interview with Dale, follow the article here…

Perry Chen

Perry Chen, 10-yr-old film critic, radio how host, animator...

When 8 years old Perry Chen entered 3rd grade, his teacher was in for a surprise. Perry was an avid reader and was able to understand the meaning of words at high school level. Instead of drilling him with the same homework practice as expected by an average 3rd grader, the teacher encouraged him to write — and changed his life forever!

Today, less than a month shy of his 11th birthday, Perry is famous as the youngest film critic in the world and gets free passes to screenings of the newest films for kids, interviews movie makers and actors, even joins them on the red carpet. As a young reviewer, he has a unique way of rating movies by giving them starfishes and is not looking just for the visual effects and their appeal to kids, but is very interested in the story — particularly the moral message coming out of it.

You would think he’s too excited about being a movie critic, but Perry’s passion doesn’t end with film reviews. He already had an interesting career doing book reviews in the past and recently added restaurant reviews to his growing portfolio. He enjoys drawing and essentially turning any kind of materials into art and have recently ventured into doing animation films. Since his interests are far and wide, there’s no knowing what he may end up doing next! ;-)

Perry wants kids’ voice to be heard and to get kids  involved in combining education with entertainment while watching movies.

His message to the adults: Remember when you were kids and be kind and nurturing to us as if you’re treating your younger self!

To read the interview with Perry, follow the article here…

Benjamin Lang

Benjamin Lang, at age 14 started selling used goods on eBay

Unlike most teenagers, Ben Lang is looking up to people like Warren Buffet. Back in 2008, at age 14, somewhat accidentally, he found he has the skills and passion to sell online and he became a successful entrepreneur since then, running an online business and a prominent blog for young entrepreneurs, EpicLaunch.com.

Ben’s story starts when his grandfather asked him if he could sell his old camera equipment online. After making more than just pocket money with that one transaction, he decided to seriously start learning about eBay and other online businesses, so that he could later build his own online business that would get the attention of Channel 12 for an interview that would help him market his name and services to a much wider audience.

He decided to supplement the online business with a blog — originally under the name Ben-Lang.com which later transformed into EpicLaunch.com — where he shares resources and advice for young entrepreneurs like himself. Today, EpicLaunch.com is regarded as a very popular site that attracts young people dreaming to launch their own businesses.

Between school and his business, Ben has no time for computer games anymore, but still tries to find time for his friends. His favorite book? A business book, of course! –Dig Your Well Before Your Thirsty by Harvey Mackay.

Ben invites all kids, even as young as age 10, to pursue their dreams, whether those include climbing Mt. Everest or starting a business!

His message to the adults: Learn to trust teenagers. Some teens are more responsible and hardworking than adults.

To read the interview with Ben, follow the article here…

Brandon Wood

Brandon Wood, age 10, blogger and public speaker, raising money to save chimps from captivity

As most 10 years old boys, Brandon has a great love for animals, but not in the way you would expect. He is passionate about saving his favorites — our closest cousins among the Great Apes — from captivity!

Back in 2009, Brandon decided he wanted a chimp as a pet. Being curios if that is possible, he decided to research and learn more about these amazing animals, but what he found out caused a change of heart — instead of getting one as a pet, he decided he wanted to help save those held in captivity!

Since then, Brandon has been successfully raising awareness about the bad conditions in which chimps held in captivity for biomedical and other research live. He continually raises money to organize adoptions and transfer for such chimps to the Save the Chimps Sanctuary using his Make a Chimp Smile blog.

Brandon recently spoke at the TEDxYouth@TampaBay conference organized on Universal Children’s Day on November 20, 2010 and is actively engaged with people and organizations that are interested in helping these endangered species!

His message to the adults: Write to your senators and ask them to to support the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326, S. 3694)

To read the interview with Brandon, follow the article here…

Asya Gonzalez

Asya Gonzalez, age 13, entrepreneur & designer, creator of Stinky Feet Gurlz

Asya Gonzalez is a 13 year old designer, who in 2010 launched her own fashion line, inspired by a doodle in her mom’s childhood journal. Armed with her passion for drawing and design and with her mom’s help, Asya successfully launched her own business – Stinky Feet Gurlz, producing and selling apparel and accessory items styled with one of 14 girl characters, inspired by 1940′s era.

Despite being busy with her business as well as school — she is a dedicated student who receives honors from her school — Asya feels socially responsible and recently decided to dedicate part of her time to help prevent Child Sex Trafficking and Slavery! With her foundation – She Is Worth It! — she is trying to help bring awareness and action to put an end to one of the worst possible crimes against children!

Asya is grateful to have her mom at her side in her business adventure and enjoys the support of her entire family. Even though she is busy, she still leads a regular life as a child, spending time with her little brothers and friends, playing Monopoly and other games, as well as reading The Uglies trilogy and many other of her favorite books.

Her message to the adults: Pay attention to your kids and listen to them because you’d be surprised at what they are thinking and what they can do!

To read the interview with Asya, follow the article here…

Jason O’Neill

Jason O'Neill, age 14, entrepreneur & writer, creator of Pencil Bugs

Jason O’Neill is a 14 years old entrepreneur and writer from Temecula, California in US. At age 9 he had an idea to make a product that he could sell at a craft fair. From this idea, a successful business under the name Pencil Bugs got developed. Jason is now 14 and beside working hard on adding new products, he recently also published his first book Bitten by the Business Bug.

He was also one of the speakers at TEDxRedmond 2010, an independent TED-like event, which was organized by kids like Jason! His TEDx talk was about goals and it was titled, “Take Off Those Blinders.” An apt title for what we’re trying do to with World4Children.org! ;-)

Jason looks up to people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett — not just as successful businessmen who made a lot of money, but philanthropists that are working hard to turn their money in helping make the world a better place.

He is most grateful to his parents for their unreserved support in sticking by his side and helping to make his ideas reality. He also cherishes all the good common sense advice given by his grandparents.

Though busy, Jason never forgets to enjoy being a kid with his friends and feels sad when someone tells him they don’t have time to play as they’re too busy with activities and other stuff. His favorite video game? Runescape, an online multi-player game in which he says can get pretty wrapped up playing it, so he needs to limit his time to make sure he can do his homework first!

His message to the adults: Remember that learning has no restrictions or age requirements!

To read the interview with Jason, follow the article here…

<<< Stay tuned — more interviews to follow! >>>

Do you know of an inspiring kid that is trying to engage with adults in implementing some of their ideas? Please let us know and we’ll try to connect with them!

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