There is something special about the teen years. You know enough about the world to figure out how it works, but you’re not embedded in it. You see where the lines have been drawn by generations before you and you challenge whether they were sketched out in the right place.
Teens also have more time and energy than at just about any other part of their lives. They can, and often do, invest thousands of hours exploring their interests, whether that be music, robotics, writing or athletics. Or even video games. They have passion, stamina, and their minds are free to attack challenges from a unique perspective.
It’s one of the reasons I love writing the Gabby Wells Thrillers. The teen years are exciting and dramatic. As young adults move from childhood to adulthood, they figure out what parts of their lives to focus on and what areas to abandon or postpone. Gabby is just a normal teen who starts down an incredible path because she does two things: 1) She believes God asks for her help. 2) She says yes to his requests.
People with a few more years behind them may grow jaded or the world may fill their minds with distractions and they can’t hear the voice of God in their lives. But, Gabby does and acts on it. Those two things change her life and she ends up doing (and suffering) a lot on a tremendous journey that could literally save the world.
Today’s world is full of other Gabby’s out there. Here are just a few teens that are accomplish amazing things.
- Angela Zhang (17 yrs old) from Cupertino recently won a $100,000 grand prize for developing a possible cancer cure.
- Jack Andraka (15) won the youth achievement Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for inventing a new method to detect a lethal cancer.
- Rose Taylor (13) made her debut at New York Fashion Week as a designer.
And here are some from years past:
- Joan of Arc (13) inspired by God and, at 18, led France to victory over the English in the Hundred Years War. She was martyred a year later, at 19.
- Bobby Fischer (14) became an International Chess Grandmaster.
- Mozart, at 14, wrote the opera, “Mitridate Rè di Ponto.”
- Nadia Comaneci (14) became the first gymnast to achieve a perfect score in the Olympics
- David (14 or 15), a young man, slew the greatest enemy warrior, Goliath, that saved Israel.
- Louis Braille (15) invented the Braille system.
- Alexander the Great (16) founded his first colony.
- Mary Shelley (18) writes Frankenstein (The Modern Prometheus), later published when she was 21.
- Steve Jobs (19) and Steve Wozniak started creating computers, which would later become Apple.
- Mark Zuckerberg (19) commercializes Facebook
- Bill Gates (19) co-founds Microsoft.
- Pete Sampras (19) wins his first of 14 Grand Slam titles, at the U.S. Open