THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
Age is just a number when it comes to the next generation stepping up to make our world a better place.
With this being the Teens Issue’ we’re highlighting the many young talents in our midst. While honing their skills in pursuit of their dreams, they’re also making a difference in the community – with some even putting Malaysia on the map with their contributions to society. After reading this, you may catch yourself reminiscing about what you were doing at their age (we certainly did)!
Budding artists, authors, cartoonists, and musicians – Sheldon and Emerson Chong have won many art competitions in addition to publishing their very own comic books. The young brothers have also carved out the time to conduct art workshops to share their knowledge with others, who in turn inspire them.
Serena Zara Taufiq was one of our kid editors last year and when she told us about her ventures, we were amazed. Serena’s Secret – Helping Autistic Children, One At A Time was birthed out of the compassion she has for her sister, whose speech therapy she helped to fund by selling her very own handmade accessories. Proving that she has the mind of an entrepreneur, her future plans include employing those who are autistic so they can make their own living.
HAVE A CUPPA
At the tender age of nine, Shailaja Grace is already the CEO of Bloom Tea – founded by her in 2016. The reason she became a tea entrepreneur is that when she was three years old, her grandmother made her tea whenever she was sick and that made her feel better. We tried Moonbeam – one of the two tea blends she’s created – and love its soothing aroma (it’s really pretty to look at too, with different-coloured ingredients). She also started a charity, Little Hands, Big Heart, that provides school supplies to less-fortunate children. 10 per cent of Bloom Tea’s proceeds go to it.
INNOVATION THAT KNOWS NO BOUNDS
This year, two Malaysians have been awarded the Queen’s Young Leaders Award for their innovative solutions to current global issues. One of them is Siva Nagappan Visvesvarana, who developed various solutions to improve daily recycling – enabling rainwater to be stored in a fraction of the space typically required. He also co-founded Project Paplet, an organisation that transforms used paper into booklets, which are then donated to 50 refugee schools around Malaysia.
THE WHIZ KID
A whiz behind the keyboard, Lim Wern Jie is a self-taught developer who learnt from watching YouTube tutorials. Not only does he speak a few languages, he’s also fluent in eight different coding languages. Although still in his teens, he has 50 applications under his name. The most downloaded of these is the Phone Security Alarm and it’s got good reviews on Apple’s App Store.
A DIFFERENT EXPRESSION
At the age of two, Yap Hanzhen was diagnosed with autism. Now 20, he jets across the world to exhibit his detailed and heartfelt sketches, which are his outlet for expression. Hanzhen uses his photographic memory to create e each artwork – an exact replica of the real thing but on p paper. He has published five sketch books that form a series ser called Sketches By Hanzhen.