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3 Influential Young Women We Should All Aspire to Be More Like

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At just age of 15, Marsai Martin was the star and executive producer of her own major motion picture, setting a great example for all young women.
Source: @marsaimartin

Being a young person involved in anything social or political comes with a world of problems. People will say you aren’t educated enough. They’ll say you haven’t experienced enough of the world.

They will use your age against you. However, they couldn’t be more wrong. Now is the opportune time for young people to take a stand about the things they care about.

These three young influential women show their sphere of influence in environmental politics, social activism, and professional success. These are all areas where women as a whole are highly criticized.

With these three being under the age of 21, they face a more intense criticism. However, there is no denying that because of how well they have taken everything they’ve faced that everyone can learn something from them.

Marsai Martin:

At just the age of 15, Marsai Martin has made an enviable career for herself. Martin got her break on ABC’s Black-ish, where she plays Diane Johnson. Her quick-witted, hysterical character has earned her three awards and eight nominations.

Her television success isn’t the only notable thing about this acting powerhouse. At the tender age of 15, she was the star and executive producer of her own major motion picture.

Professionalism at any age is important, but Martin shows that it’s achievable before leaving high school. She perfectly balances all aspects of her personality while being an incredibly successful young woman in Hollywood.

She’s often shown on television and in interviews not taking everything too seriously while speaking with an eloquence beyond her years. Martin shows us you don’t have to put on a stuffy persona to be taken seriously in your field.

Greta Thunberg:

Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old environmentalist, becoming this generation's voice on climate change makes her one of the youngest and most influential women at the moment
Source: @GretaThunberg

It’s hard to deny that we desperately need to save our planet. However, we still have climate change deniers. Cue Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmentalist that’s been making headlines. Her mission didn’t begin too long ago, when in 2018 she protested outside of Swedish Parliament calling for stronger action to be taken.

Soon, other students caught on, and along with Thunberg they began organizing what they called Fridays for Future. She would go on to be this generation’s voice on climate change. Inspiring millions of students to protest for action all over the world.

While her activism is admirable, it isn’t the only thing we could learn from when it comes to Thunberg. It’s her rhetoric that stands out. Thunberg is known for her blunt and direct tone when addressing audiences and political figures alike. To put it simply, she doesn’t play around.

This is something that women aren’t usually taught, especially in politics and business. If you’re too blunt, you’re labelled a bitch. However, Thunberg shows that you can be successful in what you’re doing while being blunt. Her tone, and her words command respect.

She isn’t here to make you feel good, she’s there to show you why you need to care about what she’s talking about. This is something we could all use more of in our daily lives.

Emma Gonzalez:

After everything Emma Gonzalez has gone through and she hasn't backed down is something all influential women stand for.
Source: @Emma4Change

Emma Gonzalez is one of the Parkland shooting survivors, as well as an activist for gun control.Though she went through one of the most traumatic experiences possible, she responded with courage. Shortly after the shooting, she helped found the gun control advocacy group Never Again MSD.

Her speech entitled “We Call B.S.”, which was aimed at the lack of action by politicians who received funding from the National Rifle Association, went viral. She would go onto make numerous media appearances, continue to be an outspoken advocate, and help organize March for Our Lives.

Politics aside, you can’t deny Gonzalez is a strong young woman. Even through all the negativity she has gone through, from being told the trauma she experienced was a hoax and having the head spokeswoman of the NRA come after her and her message, she still chooses to stand for what she believes in.

The greatest thing we can learn from her is that when we face trauma, when we are scared for our lives, the greatest thing we can do is make change. To call out the bad in the world. To use our voice, and any platform given to us, to make change.

By: Madison Starr

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Mother of Four Who Dies After Childbirth Donates 12 of her Organs

Sydney Murphy

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Source: Go Fundme

Kathleen Thorson passed away after suddenly falling ill earlier this month following the birth of her fourth child, Teddy. Though she had already brought four lives into the world through childbirth, Thorson grasped her chance to save many more through her own organ donation. 

Thorson was rushed to the emergency room when she suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage less than a week after Teddy’s birth. Despite several surgeries, doctors were unable to save her. 

Because of Thorson’s diligence in the matter, the doctors were able to donate 12 of her organs to people who desperately needed them. 

In order to raise funds for the medical bills necessary for such a donation, a GoFundMe campaign was created by Richard Stubbs, a family spokesperson. The campaign was set up five days before Thorson was rushed to the hospital. As each day passed, the gift of life became more valuable than ever.

“There aren’t many words to be said except that we love her, and we will miss her with every breath we take. Through all of this hardship, her love, life, and magic are still felt,” wrote Richard Stubbs, the organizer of the GoFundMe campaign.  

As of Febuary 18, the GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $96,000. The money is funding the Thorson family’s medical costs, funeral expenses, and to make up for the lost wages of Thorson’s husband, Jesse. 

Extra money raised was set up to go towards another one of Thorson’s dreams of building a garden for her children. The campaign ended after raising a total of $130,385. Thorson’s dying wish came true when it was revealed that she qualified as a viable donor for all of her organs.

“The nurse told Jesse the chances that someone is a candidate of this magnitude is less than 1 in a million. But anyone who knew Kathleen already knew that. We are so pleased to announce that Kathleen will be able to provide the prayed-for miracle for nearly a dozen individuals who are anxiously waiting for an organ donation,” Stubbs wrote on the GoFundMe campaign.

People from all over were able to donate to Thorson’s cause. Her story was brought to the attention of actress Kristen Bell‘s baby line, HelloBello. Kristen Bell shared Thorson’s story on her Instagram page as a true inspiration. 

The Thorson family was also highlighted in the company’s weekly ‘Tuesday of Giving.’ And awarded a year’s supply of wipes and diapers to aid them in taking care of their newborn son.

“Before she passed earlier this month, Kathleen said she wanted to save as many lives as possible and donated an almost unheard of 12 organs, including her heart and lungs,” Bell wrote in her Instagram post, honoring Kathleen.

The family was also given a medallion in memory of Thorson’s selfless organ donations. Thanks to Thorson’s kind gesture, several people have another chance of life. Thorson turned a family tragedy into a life-saving miracle.

“We would happily do anything it took to bring Kathleen back to us. But we are so grateful that someone else’s mother, daughter, father, friend, brother, sister, son or love will be coming home thanks to Kathleen’s ultimate sacrifice. We love her, and we miss her. We always will.”


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Comedian Raises Money to Send Young Austrailian Boy to Disneyland

Erin Albus

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To help out a young Australian boy who has been bullied non-stop, a comedian helps raise money for the kid.
Source: Gofundme

A young boy in Australia was ruthlessly bullied at school for living with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. Yarraka Bayles was upset to see her son, Quaden, come home from school crying due to the bullying of his peers.

Wanting to spread awareness of how bullying can affect people, Yarraka posted a video of Quaden’s heartbreaking response. 

Since the video was posted, it has been shared over 20 millions times. It gained the attention of people all over the world, garnering support from all types of people. Seeing the story, American comedian Brad Williams set up a GoFundMe for Quaden to send the young boy to Disneyland.

In just three days, it raised $465,463 from more than 20,000 donors. This far surpassed the $10,000 goal. The comments of the GoFundMe are filled with an outpouring of support for Quaden. 

“I donated because Quaden and his mom deserve to know that the world is not populated with bullies,” one donor stated. “I’m sorry for what you’ve been through and hope the rest of your life is filled with love and kindness,” another one said. 

The money raised covers the entire cost of the trip to Disney, and the rest of the money will be sent to anti-bullying charities, including the charity Quaden’s mother set up, Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism. The goal of Stand Tall is to stop bullying with Quaden now the face of the charity. 

Some notable people have taken note of Quaden’s story. Australian actor Hugh Jackman tweeted out, “Quaden – you’ve got a friend in me.”

The National Rugby League’s Indigenous All-Stars team also showed their support for the young Australian boy. Quaden led the team out before their NRL pre-season match against the Maori All-Stars in Queensland’s Gold Coast. 

Indigineous All-Stars fullback Latrell Mitchell gave Quaden some inspiring words to help him through this emotional time: “Just want to wish you all the best brother. We know you’re going through a hard time right now but the boys are here, we’ve got your back. We’re here to support you, bud.”

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Elementary School Boy Pays off School Lunch Debt for Entire School

Erin Albus

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As a solution to the school lunch debt problem one elementary school once had, an elementary school boy pays off the entire school's lunch debt to help other students get some lunch money
Source: Courtesy: April Ching

One young boy in Vancouver, Washington found a solution to his school’s lunch debt issue. 

Keoni Ching, just 8 years old, decided to make and sell keychains in order to pay back the debt. 

He wanted to do something special for his school’s Kindness Week, and so he sought to follow in many celebrities’ footsteps in paying off school lunch debt. 

In 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandated that school districts crack down on student’s unpaid meals, better known as school lunch debt. They did not state how, only that the already financially struggling schools had to make up for the ever growing lunch debt. 

While groups like the School Nutrition Association (SNA) advocate for universal free school lunches, schools cannot afford to do that and pay back their debts. 

And so schools resorted to Lunch Shaming.

This can take the form of giving kids with debts different lunches, often times denying them hot meals. A school in Rhode Island decided to give students with school lunch debt peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, while all other students receive hot lunches. 

An extreme example of Lunch Shaming occurred in Pennsylvania when a local school district sent hundreds of letters telling parents who owed lunch money for their children to pay up or else their kids could go into foster care. 

“Your child has been sent to school every day without money and without breakfast and/or lunch.” the letter said, adding that failure to provide children with food could result in parents being sent to Dependency Court.

“If you are taken to Dependency court, the result may be your child being removed from your home and placed in foster care,” the letter read.

But paying off the school lunch debt is not as easy as it sounds. For many families, they cannot afford to pay back the owed lunch money—so they have to let their child be shamed. 

Hearing about the efforts of Keoni Ching, people all over the country ordered keychains. To help his cause, people would pay well above the asking price of the keychains just to give extra money to the young boy. They sold keychains to people in Rhode Island, Minnesota, and even Alaska. It was truly a country-wide effort to help Keoni. 

In total, Keoni raised over $4,000 dollars. He delivered the check to his elementary school, and the money will pay off the current debt and $500 worth of future school lunch debt students may incur. Some of the money will also go to nearby schools to help pay off their debt. 

The issue of school lunch debt and Lunch Shaming is one that will not go away without effort put in by communities. But people like Keoni show that a little bit of kindness and ingenuity can go a long way in alleviating the pressure put on struggling families by school lunch debt.

All we have to do is be kind to one another. 

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