Lately the news has held many incredible stories about tenacious teens and their amazing accomplishments. On May 22, 2010, we were told that a thirteen-year-old California boy climbed to the top of Mt. Everest and earlier this month we heard the story of a sixteen-year-old Australian girl, who sailed around the world alone. In this article I will take a look at the these two teens as well as a story that hit in 2009 about a homeless Los Angeles girl, who inspired many with her tenacity to gain acceptance to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Harvard.
Thirteen-year-old Boy Climbs to the Top of Mt. Everest
The Internet was buzzing with stories of California native, Jordan Romero, who at a mere thirteen-years-old was the youngest person ever to reach the top of Mt. Everest. Mt. Everest is the world’s highest mountain peak, and the climb to the top has taken the life of many mountaineers. Jordan’s father and father’s girlfriend accompanied him on the climb. Jordan had previously climbed Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro and Australia’s Mt. Kosciuszko. Upon reaching, the top of Everest, Jordan stopped to phone his mom.
Australian Teen Sails around the World Alone
Earlier in May 2010, news reports broke that sixteen-year-old teen; Jessica Watson completed a seven-month journey around the world. Jessica sailed from the Sydney Harbor on October 18, 2009 alone in her pink yacht and battled forty-foot waves and intense loneliness in a journey that took her northeast through the South Pacific south to Cape horn at the tip of South America across the Atlantic Ocean to South Africa and finally through the Indian Ocean to Australia. Her 210-day journey culminated with her arrival in the Sydney Harbor where she hugged her mother and clung to her father who was there to greet her.
Los Angeles Homeless Girl Gets into Harvard University
While the story of Khadijah Williams may lack harrowing stories of sharks and icy cliffs, it is no less heroic. Khadijah Williams is the young Los Angeles girl who defied the odds and through perseverance and hard work, got into one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Harvard. Khadijah spent much of her young life living on the street and in and out of various California homeless shelters with her mom and younger sister. In elementary school she tested in the top 1% of the population and was considered gifted, her rootless childhood kept her from finishing fourth, fifth and eighth grade. Jessica enrolled in Los Angeles High School eighteen months before graduation. At some point while attending school, Jessica received assistance from James London, an orthopedic surgeon, and his wife Patricia. The couple helped Jessica complete the Harvard application and essays.
What Children Can Learn from Khadijah’s Story
Children and adults can learn from Khadijah that it is possible to overcome the most adverse situations. Making from a homeless shelter to school each day, takes dedication. Khadijah Williams , like Jordan Romero and Jessica Watson had a goal and a belief in herself and her goals. Khadijah also teaches us that it is ok to reach out for help. While Jessica’s journey around the world and Jordan’s journey to the top of the earth are incredible accomplishments, it is Khadijah’s dedication to her own education that is the most remarkable.