Extraordinary Youth #1

Saturday May 28, 2011

Now that my weekend round-up of opportunities open to Ontario kids and teens has been turned into a separate page listing current youth opportunities, I thought I'd try something a little different and take a quick look at some amazing kids, teens, and young adults I've read about recently:

Felix Finkbeiner, Environmentalist, Activist and Author, Age 13

From Pöcking, Bavaria, Germany

Reading The Telegraph (UK) online last month, I learned about "The 13-year-old who has the world planting trees". At the age of 9, Felix Finkbeiner turned a simple school presentation into a plan to see one million trees planted in his home country of Germany. Now age 13, Felix recently met that goal, is the author of the book Baum für Baum (Tree by Tree), and is expanding his campaign worldwide with a global call to "Stop talking. Start planting".

• Visit www.plant-for-the-planet.org, or listen to Felix speak to UN delegates in New York in February of this year:

Anastasia Rizikov, Classical Pianist, Age 12

From Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Anastasia Rizikov is a 12-year-old classical pianist who just won an international competition open to young students and professionals more than twice her age. According to the article "Young Toronto pianist wins top prize in Spain" on CBC.ca, Anastasia was the youngest competitor in the top category of the 18th Rotary International Piano Competition, which was held in Palma de Mallorca earlier this month.

• Check out Anastasia's official website at www.anastasiarizikov.ca, like her on Facebook or visit her official YouTube channel where you can see amazing performances such as this:

Mark C. Eshleman, Filmmaker, and Tyler Joseph, Poet, Both Age 22

From Westerville, Ohio, USA

I posted about the Trend Micro "What's Your Story?" Video Contest back in February and I'm really glad I thought to go back and have a look at the results. The winning video, "Where Are You?", is striking in its simplicity and a real accomplishment.

• Have a look at the video below or visit whatsyourstory.trendmicro.com to learn more about the competition. Mark C. Eshleman is on Twitter @markceshleman.