If you needed a reason to restore your hope in humanity, I’ve got eight. What better time than Women’s History Month to honor some of the young women who are shaping our future right now? Because in spite of anything else going on today, one thing is for certain: The world does not lack for young girls doing inspiring work, and we could all learn a thing or two from them.
Girls have always been changing the world. From writing books that shape culture to doing something as bold as going to school, you can find girls at the forefront of the future. You have an 11-year-old girl to credit for naming the planet Pluto and a 12-year-old girl to thank for making stuffed animals hospital-safe. Girls and young women have started critically-acclaimed online magazines, given a voice to six million victims of the Holocaust, and created less invasive ways to test breast cancer. While the world does not always value the voices of young women, that thankfully has not stopped many from speaking up and speaking out. If girls like the ones listed above and below are any indication, our future and our world will be in good hands should they be held by young women.
So, out of the way, metaphorical BBC dads of the world. Here are eight girls doing great things before they have even reached high school. Say it with me, now:
1Armani Crews, A 6 Year Old Helping The Homeless
In honor of turning 6 years old on March 5, Armani Crews celebrated her birthday by helping the homeless. Her birthday-party-turned-volunteer-event brought toiletries and snacks to people who are homeless in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood. Celebrating her birthday by handing out food and donated goods those in need was Armani’s idea. In an interview with Huffington Post, her mother Artesha Crews said, “In [Armani’s] words, it’s ‘nice to be nice.’” Happy Belated Birthday, Armani. The world celebrates you.
2Daliyah Marie Arana, Honored By The Library Of Congress
It was fun to have 4-year-old Daliyah Marie Arana of Gainesville, GA as "Librarian For The Day." She's already read more than a 1,000 books. pic.twitter.com/MQfwlUrakO— Carla Hayden (@LibnOfCongress) January 11, 2017
Earlier this year the Librarian of Congress honored 4-year-old Daliyah for reading 1,000 books. Yes, those numbers are correct: 4 years old, one thousand books. Daliyah was named “Librarian of the Day” and spent the day alongside current Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. Daliyah is already reading books her 10- and 12-year-old siblings can read and has even read a few college-level texts. At this rate, Daliyah will be reading circles around the rest of us before she graduates elementary school.
3Mari Copeny, Little Miss Flint
Mari Copeny is the 9-year-old clean water activist you likely know as Little Miss Flint. She spoke to former President Obama after penning a letter to the president on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and was the youngest youth ambassador at the Women’s March on Washington. When a photo of Little Miss Flint’s reaction to Trump went viral, Copeny redirected the attention in a tweet saying, “If you can share the #trump photo, you can help me raise awareness on the #FlintWaterCrisis.”
4Edith Fuller, Youngest Contestant For The National Spelling Bee
At 5 years old, Edith Fuller is the youngest contestant for the National Spelling Bee. After beating out 50 other contestants in the regional competition in Tulsa, Edith is heading to compete to be the champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Her winning word? Jnana. It’s a sanskrit word meaning “knowledge,” used in Hinduism. I’ll use it in a sentence: “5-year-old Edith correctly spelled ‘Jnana,’ a word 26-year-old me just had to Google.”
5Marley Dias, Literacy Advocate
12-year-old Marley Dias is the founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, a resource guide to books that feature black girls as the main characters. Marley told Philly Voice she was “sick of reading about white boys and dogs,” and was inspired to find books that starred and represented girls like her. Marley will have soon another book to add to the list: Her own. Marley’s book will be a nonfiction guide to social activism for kids published through Scholastic.
6 and 7. Madison Star And Mallory Iyana, Sister Entrepreneurs
Madison Star and Mallory Iyana are, respectively, 12- and 10-year-old sisters who started their own business. Madison and Mallory are entrepreneurs and students in Memphis who created Angels and Tomboys, a bath and body care brand featuring unique scents like ‘Frozen Hot Chocolate’ and ‘Lemonade Doughnuts.’ The sisters were featured on Shark Tank last year, walking away with endorsements from Mark Cuban and Daymond John. In an interview with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Madison and Mallory said they want everyone to remember “all girls are created equally different.”
8Jazz Jennings, Transgender Rights Advocate
Jazz Jennings is only 16 and already has a pretty full resume. She is a transgender rights advocate, reality star, has been interviewed by Barbara Walters, and even has her own Jazz Jennings doll. As if that wasn't impressive enough, Jazz is also the honorary co-founder of the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation, an organization with the mission to “[spread] the message of tolerance, acceptance & unconditional love which are a birthright for all transkids.”