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Is your teen extraordinary?

 
Two remarkable teens are proof that kids can change their very different worlds.
hands holding globe
By Scott Dunlop

Pic: Shutterstock

Article originally in Parent24
One is an education activist, one a media giant. Both of these remarkable teens live in different kinds of societies, and yet they are using their extraordinary talents and skills to change their worlds. Tragically, the teen-activist may not live to see her vision fulfilled after being gunned down because of her impact on society.

Meet Malala Yousafzai

According to News24, Pakistani child activist Malala won international prominence after highlighting Taliban atrocities in the Swat valley with a blog for the BBC three years ago, when the Islamist militants burned girls' schools and terrorised the valley before the army intervened.

“Then aged just 11, her struggle resonated with tens of thousands of girls denied an education by Islamist militants across northwest Pakistan, where the government has been fighting local Taliban since 2007. She was also invited to speak for UNESCO at events highlighting the banning of girl’s schools in the region.” (AFP)

Just this week, Taliban gunmen boarded a bus which Malala was on and shot her in the head, and later claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt, adding that the Taliban would hunt her down and kill her should she survive. She is recovering in hospital, and hopes to continue in politics. World leaders have condemned this brutality.

And then there’s Caspar Lee

Remember how Justin Bieber ascended to superstardom as a teen by taking YouTube by storm? Well, in South Africa, 18-year-old Caspar Lee calls himself “That South African teenager who sometimes talks to the camera”, and he’s doing it really well. According to his YouTube channel, his videos have been viewed almost 10 million times.

His videos are fun glimpses into contemporary life, light-hearted interviews with his friends, and discussions about pop music, the internet and what it’s like being a teenager. What’s cool about Caspar Lee is that he comes across as positive, energetic and, well, normal.

Normal, that is, except for his ability to reach his peers in a way unparalleled by any other SA teen, ever. Check out his YouTube channel and you’ll start to understand why.

Two utterly different contexts, and yet these teens aren’t just sitting at home complaining that they’re bored, or sneaking off to have cigarettes at the corner cafe. While one has chosen to oppose a violent sect which is hell-bent on killing her so that she can make the world a better place for her sisters, the other has been fortunate enough to realise his dreams and challenge others to do the same. It’s not possible to compare their visions, and yet, they are driven by similar passion to achieve.

Follow Scott and Caspar Lee on Twitter

Do you think it’s extraordinary for a teen to be this passionate about something?

 
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