This week, I have put together a collection of inspiring work by youth. Many of these reflect the interests that I wish students were encouraged to pursue in the classroom.
- Amelia Atwater-Rhodes – This author inspired me as a teenager. I loved writing and thought that one day I would be a novelist or a poet, and I consumed hundreds of books both in school and out of school. Atwater-Rhodes was special to me because she published her first book when she was only 14 years old! I believe young adults should be encouraged to pursue creative endeavors.
- Amanda LaCount – This teenage dancer has achieved social media fame because of her #BreakTheStereotype message. She advocates for dancers who come in all shapes and sizes. I am inspired by her self-love and confidence.
- Bretman Rock – Bretman reached internet fame through making videos on YouTube and Instagram when he was in high school. He now is a representative for several beauty brands and was recently featured in a Nike advertisement. I am inspired by him because he is true to himself and he pursued his passions, even if they were not encouraged in school.
- Kim Petras – This German pop star began her rise to fame when she was only 13 years old. She appeared on several television shows to discuss her experience as a transgender teen. She began to make music and YouTube videos, and is now a successful musician. I am inspired by her sense of self and her bold choice to live her life in the public eye in order to be an advocate for the trans community.
- The Best Teen Writing – This collection of writing by teens is published once a year by Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.