TIME Lists the 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018 | Time
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TIME's 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018 Kiernan Shipka, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Chole Kim, Amika George Getty Images (4); Courtesy of Amika George By TIME Staff 9:00 AM EST
To determine TIME’s annual list , we consider accolades across numerous fields, global impact through social media and overall ability to drive news. In the past, we’ve recognized everyone from singer Lorde to Olympic champion Simone Biles to political activist Joshua Wong . Here’s who made this year’s cut (ordered from youngest to oldest):
Marley Dias, 13 Getty Images (2)
When Marley Dias was in the sixth grade, she encountered a problem: “At home I always got to see black girls and diverse experiences being reflected in the books I read,” Dias tells TIME. “But at school, I did not have access to those experiences.” So Dias, an avid reader, embarked on a mission to collect one thousand books featuring black female protagonists (mostly from donations), and distribute them to communities in need. Since its launch in 2015, #1000BlackGirlBooks has helped distribute more than 11,000 books to libraries, schools and community organizations around the world. And Dias, now a high school freshman, recently published her own book, Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You . Her goal, she says, is to ensure that “kids know that changing the world should not be something that feels imaginary, but something that you have the power to do today and always.” —Rachel E. Greenspan
Rishab Jain, 14 Andy King—Discovery Education; Getty Images
Treating cancer requires immense precision: Doctors try to kill all the diseased cells, while sparing as many healthy ones as possible. This can be especially difficult for pancreatic cancer , since the pancreas moves around, and sometimes gets obscured by other organs. In an effort to help solve this problem , Rishab Jain, an eighth grader from Oregon, developed a software tool that, during simulations, was shown to help doctors zero in on the pancreas more accurately, ideally improving treatments. The algorithm won Jain the $25,000 top prize at the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge in October, and he’s now trying to find hospital and physician partners who could help him run a clinical trial to continue testing. “I’ve gotten to see how doctors can make an immediate difference in people’s lives,” Jain says, “so I want to continue pursuing that.”— Jamie Ducharme
Marsai Martin, 14 Getty Images (2)
At just 14, Marsai Martin has a career that most adults would envy—she’s already won two NAACP Image Awards and a Young Artist Award for her role as Diane Johnson on ABC’s Emmy-nominated blackish . But her next project, executive producing and starring in Little alongside Issa Rae, a film based on an idea she pitched herself , may well take her to the next level. Martin tells TIME that her passion for performing began as a two-year-old, when her parents were amazed to find her acting out scenes from Dreamgirls . “I think it’s been in my blood for a long time,” says Martin. Despite not being old enough to vote, Martin campaigned for Stacey Abrams in Georgia and used her platform to encourage her 460,000 Instagram followers to go to the polls. “When you really believe in something,” Martin says, “you will stand up for it. You will push for it to become a reality.”— Rachel E. Greenspan
Millie Bobby Brown, 14 Getty Images (2)
After rocketing to near-overnight global fame as the Eggo-loving, telekinetic Eleven in Stranger Things , Millie Bobby Brown has emerged as one of Hollywood’s hottest young stars, with a host of A-list superfans, including Drake, Karlie Kloss and Aaron Paul, and an online following of more than 18 million people. In 2018, a year in which a season of Stranger Things will not air, she became the youngest person to ever be named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people as well as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. And her star is only just beginning to rise. Brown is already set to make her feature film debut in the 2019 Godzilla sequel, Godzilla: King of the Monsters , reprise that role in 2020’s Godzilla vs. Kong, and both produce and star in a film series based on Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes Mysteries novels.—Megan McCluskey
Storm Reid, 15 Getty Images (2)
In Ava DuVernay’s diverse re-imagining of A Wrinkle in Time , which premiered earlier this year, Reid appeared alongside Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling as the main character, Meg Murry—a role that Reid told the Washington Post allowed her to “represent girls who look like me and let them know they can do anything.” Now the self-described “future filmmaker”—who made her feature film debut in 12 Years a Slave at age 10—is not only set to star in another of DuVernay’s hotly anticipated projects, the Netflix miniseries Central Park Five , but also the 2019 Blumhouse Productions thriller Relive . — Megan McCluskey
Thandiwe Abdullah, 15 Getty Images (2)
As a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter LA Youth Vanguard, Abdullah has become one...