By Serena Norr
Ideas have the power to change the world. We see that first-hand at Girls With Impact where teenagers are learning how to tap into their passions and create a tangible business or non-profit. Incredibly, teen CEOs — some as young as 13 — are finding solutions to local and global issues — such as climate change, COVID, education disparity, homelessness, politics, and so much more — by creating businesses that can change their world…and their collective futures.
Below, we’re sharing 20 teens who are making their mark via their unique and innovative businesses. Take note, you’ll want to remember these names.
20 Under 20: Teens CEOs to Look Out For
- Fara Kleimann, 14, CEO, Positivity Imperfect (Staten Island, NY) — Fara created Positivity Impact, an online community and app for teens where they could connect and talk with other teens who are dealing with similar issues, such as body image, sexuality, depression. She created this online forum so that teens wouldn’t feel so alone.
- Caroline Greer, age, CEO, The Impact Renaissance (North Garden, VA) — Caroline created The Impact Renaissance Podcast, a podcast and website to give young people a voice around politics. She wants to help young people to combat polarization and have a common ground, explore innovations, and empower young people through episodes.
- Kelsy Kozuszek. 14, CEO, Earth Rise, (St. Charles, MO) — Kelsey’s business, Earth Rise, was started from her passion for wanting to do something about climate change. This non-profit organization, dubbed as a platform for GenZ by GenZ, provides resources to youth on how they get involved and fight climate changes featuring tips, what products to use, and how to connect to local organizations in their area.
- Madison Walla-Peters, 13, CEO, Canines for a Cause (Hoboken, NJ) — Madison started Canines for a Cause because she noticed that people were adopting dogs during COVID but as the virus is dissipating many dogs are going to shelters. Through her company, she wants to train service dogs and make it accessible for everyone who needs one and help dogs to find a forever home.
- Elodie Kermarrec, 16, CEO, Joy of Music (New York, NY) — Elodie believes in music in the power to heal, reduce pain, and help patients in their mental state and wants to do so via her business Joy of Music by bringing live performances to seniors in nursing homes and cancer patients to hospitals in Manhattan. Joy of Music is aiming to produce live music performances once a month to all viewers for free and patients can even request a song or piece in the performance.
- Kate Mao, 13, CEO, Send Some Gift (New York, NY) — Kate wanted to help small businesses that were suffering during COVID as well as people who were dealing with loneliness. She started Send Some Gift, a subscription box filled with curated and affordable products from boutiques in NYC where a portion of the proceeds would go to local food banks.
- Adhithi Rajesh, 14, CEO, Eduquest Tutoring Academy (Hillsborough, NJ) — Adhiti created her business, Eduquest Tutoring out of a passion to give children — regardless of location or social status — the opportunity to receive a proper education. This includes a platform that focuses on academic and extracurricular topics via one-on-one teaching. She also aims to donate to schools in underprivileged areas.
- Zehra Naqvi, 14, CEO, Period Packet Delivery Service (San Jose, CA) — Zebra created her business, Period Packet when she discovered that 64% of women can’t afford period products and often have to decide between buying food or period products. Through her website, women will be able to purchase affordable period products that are delivered through GPS drones with the aim to serve women in underdeveloped countries.
- Rebecca Felker, 16, CEO, Referendum (Bethesda, MD) — Rebecca decided to create a mix of an informational website and social media platform to increase civic engagement to help young people understand legislation, history of the U.S, political terminology as well as a place to collaborate, like/dislike and comment so that representatives would be able to hear from their constituents. ”I was able to understand money and how important a budget is in our business. This isn’t taught in schools.”
- Madison DeLuca, 15, CEO, Soins De La Peau, (Chevy Chase, MD) — Madison created a Soins De La Peau, a skincare company that cleans the face, removes makeup and cures acne. She was passionate about creating this for teens and young adults so that acne wouldn’t hold them back.
- Lili Lewis, 13, CEO, Pink Success, (Piscataway, NJ) — Lili realized that there were less women in executive roles and wants to change that with her company, Pink Success. This program, run by young women for young women, provides mentoring, education, and life skills — designed to inspire and prepare future leaders.She wants to target middle school, high school and college students, offering multiple layers of connection.
- Emily Diana, 17, CEO, We Can Too, (Queens, NY) — Emily created We Can Too, a program to help women get into male-dominated industries. She saw a large problem with the gap in male to female workers in construction and wants to help high-school age girls who are interested in these industries but scared and struggling to even try due to lack of female representation. She wants to work with women who are successful in these male-dominated industries to provide mentorship as well as workshops.
- Lita Resendez, 14, CEO, New Beginning New Me (Orange County, CA) — Lita created a free, online platform that helps people who are dealing with mental health issues to find care and resources. This includes mediation, healing, resources, and more via affordable care. She wants to reach out to schools, social media and online ads to grow her brand.
- Neha Shukla, 15, CEO, Six Feet Apart (Mechanicsburg, PA) — Last year, Neha created Six Feet Apart, a device that lets people know if someone comes within a six-foot range. She received national press for her invention — including a feature in The New York Times , a speaker at a recent TEDxAtlanta Talk, and having the privilege of being interviewed by NBC’s Hoda Kotb during the Girls With Impact International Women’s Day Concert.
- Emily Valenszal Morales, CEO, Davina Jewelry (Orange County, CA) — “I learned how to spot by why and I’m very grateful to have this program.” Emily’s goal is to employ young and teen parents who need extra support and a flexible schedule. Part of her mission is to help employ people who have autism or those who have learning disabilities to have a place where they can be treated as equals.
- Marilyn Landeros, CEO, 24/7 Weeb Fitness (Orange County, CA) — She created the world’s anime-inspired gym in response that 8% aren’t getting proper fitness. She is passionate about fixing the health crisis by her anime gym which would be based on Japanese-anime characters to have fun and be fit.
- Pau Schiegel, 20, CEO, Drone Meds (Orange County, CA) — Pau recognized a problem that people in rural areas outside of any major city don’t have access to a local pharmacy and wants to change that via his company, Drone Meds. The company will deliver medication by drones (up to two huge payloads) so they don’t have to go to a pharmacy.
- Alyssa Oliver, CEO, Poetic Healing (Orange County, CA) — Alyssa created Poetic Healing, a non-profit that uses the power of poetry and art, substance abuse, homelessness, or those suffering any untreated mental illness to help them get back on their feet. As a former homeless teen, Alyssa knows first-hand about this issue and “wanted to come full circle — in a place of service and gratitude” to help others. She noted, “I have been in your shoes” and wants to come to a place of non-judgement and openness to teens.
- Ridhi Maruneni, 13, CEO, Over the Rainbow (Rochester Hills, MI) — “This program made me feel like I could do something. I was skeptical if I was going to make an idea. Now, I feel like I can make a difference in the world, which makes me feel powerful.”
- Amira Archibald, 13, CEO, Melanin Magic (New York, NY) — Amira created Melanin Magic to combine her passions (including her love of neuroscience) to create a fashion line. Amira noted, “The idea for Melanin Magic came with the greater call for racial justice. I had this idea towards the end of my Girls With Impact classes and now it has become more finalized. Melanin Magic is a fashion line highlighting pro-blackness. When you purchase things from my company all the proceeds will be donated to tackle racial injustice and systemic racism.”
Participants listed are based off the participants, ages 12–21, who went through the Girls With Impact Academy who learned how to turn their passions into business ventures to solve real world problems.
Check out the Girls With Impact Academy page for more information about their Business & Leadership program and how to sign up.