There are lots of restrictions for under 18s. However, being under 18 does not restrict you from being amazing!
In fact, people are often far more impressed when young people do amazing things than when older people do them. Read on to be inspired by these 8 young people and their impressive achievements.
1. Brian Zimmerman
In 1983, an 11-year-old Brian Zimmerman acquired a small amount of power through his work, he campaigned to be mayor of a small town in Texas called Crabb, which had a population of 225 at the time. Throughout his campaign he used slogans like “The mayor isn’t there to sit about, keeping his job, he’s there to do what’s best for his people.” His campaign won round 23 out of the 30 voters and he was successfully elected as mayor.
Zimmerman became famous nationwide and his story was adapted into a movie called The Lone Star Kid. Even though he was a mayor he didn’t enjoy the publicity and declined an appearance on Good Morning America. Sadly Brian Zimmerman passed away at the age of 24 from a heart attack.
2. Saugat Bista
Saugat Bista released his debut movie Love You Baba (Father) in December 2014, at just 7 years old, making him the youngest ever to direct a professionally made and distributed feature-length, movie according to Guinness World Records.
The synopsis explains that the movie is a drama about a single father raising his daughter. It seems unusual that a 7-year-old would be interested in the premise of this story let alone want to direct a 2-hour movie about it. But Saugat was obviously very passionate about documenting interesting stories from the get-go.
Directed by a child shot on 35mm film, which costs tens of thousands of dollars for a movie this length, the film was heavily promoted pre-release. This garnered a big pay off with a positive reception from critics who said the film gave them “weepy eyes”.
3. Thomas Gregory
The first person to swim the English channel was Captain Matthew Webb in 1875. Swimming the 21 mile length is a high profile way to prove athleticism and endurance, but there is also a big risk factor involved. Among the people who have attempted, six have died during the swim, even while accompanied by safety personnel.
In 1988 in the UK, Thomas Gregory left France to swim to Shakespeare beach at the age of 11 years old. Just two weeks prior a 20-year-old professional swimmer died during his attempt. After 11.75 hours Gregory became the youngest to swim the channel. He also beat the previous record holders time by around 3 hours and his age by almost 3 months. Upon arriving at Dover, the first thing he said was that he wanted to sleep for two days. We do not blame him.
4. Kieron Williamson
In 2009 a 7-year-old Williamson was selling his paintings at £900 a piece. By 2014 he was selling out art exhibitions in minutes ,with pieces costing nearer to £400,000 and he had over 10,000 followers of his newsletter.
His subjects include quaint, rustic rural settings featuring sail boats, geese or houses surrounded by trees changing season. They’re soft and look like the work of a veteran professional.
Williamson is a more accomplished painter than most adults. According to an interview he wants to buy land to raise cows on, just so he can paint them. Now that’s what we call dedication!
5. Willie Johnson
War is horrible there’s no doubt, but it’s even worse when children are involved. During the US Civil War it was standard procedure to use children as drummer boys. The courage these children showed earned many of them the Medal of Honour which is the highest distinction in American military.
The youngest of the group was 11-year-old Willie Johnson of the 3rd Vermont Division. During the 1862 Seven Days Battle in Virginia, his division were being pushed back by confederates. Johnson stayed calm and drummed the beat for a retreat, his division was the last to leave. President Abraham Lincoln personally gave him the Medal of Honour, he was one of 48 soldiers under the age of 18 who received it.
Thankfully child soldiers were banned in the 20th century. During that century the youngest to receive the honour was 17-year-old Jack Lucas who shielded others in the battle of Iwo Jima.
6. Victor de Leon III
In 2005, a 7-year-old Victor de Leon from New York became the youngest signed professional gamer; he attracted so much attention a documentary was made about him. That year he made enough money to pay for future college fees.
His family thought it was inevitable, since he had been playing video games since 2 years of age. When he was 4 years old, he participated in various tournaments and competitions and won them. Gaming success runs in his family. In 2005 in a Chicago tournament with over 550 contestants, he came second to his own uncle.
7. Jake Marcionette
Christopher Paolini’s finished the first of the book series Eragon when he was just 17 years old. Jake Marcionette hasn’t matched Paolini’s success or sales just yet, but he still has plenty of time.
In 2012, 12-year-old Jake decided to get an agent because he wanted to become a writer. By 2013 he had an agent and a publication deal with Penguin Young Readers group. Fast forward to 2014 and his first book is ready to be published. Just Jake is a comic, semi-autobiographical novel with illustrations. It made its way onto the New York Times best-seller list.
8. Marjorie Gestring
In 2008 controversy surrounded the Chinese gymnastics team over whether they were under too much pressure at too young an age, one of their team was just 14 years old! But back at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the US team included a 13 years old, Marjorie Gestring.
Gestring was up to the task, her springboard diving show made her the youngest person to win an Olympic gold medal – this was just the beginning of her career which lasted for decades. She won the American Athletic Union eight times but was unable to qualify for the US Olympic team a second time.
Surprisingly, she wasn’t the youngest to win a medal at the 1936 Olympics. That honour goes to Inge Sorenson, a swimmer from Denmark who was only 12. However, she only won a bronze medal.