TEAM ELEKTRA: empowered & inspired role models

Greta Thunberg

  • I was born in Stockholm, Sweden on January 3, 2003.
  • I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome when I was 8 years old.
  • I began to focus on climate change and what I could do to fix it. I started by becoming vegan and refusing to travel by airplane.
  • In 2018, when I was only 15 years old, I began to protest climate change by missing school to sit outside parliament. It was my “School Strike for Climate”.
  • My protest became so popular that students all over the world started their own strikes. I was invited to speak to the United Nations.
  • In 2019, I inspired 4 million people around the world to participate in the largest climate change protest in history.
  • In 2019, I was named the youngest ever Time Magazine Person of the Year.

Mari Copeny

  • I am a 14-year-old from Flint, Michigan, fighting for clean water.

  • When I was 8 years old, my family was told we could not use water in our home anymore after the city changed the water supply and the old pipes leached lead into the water.
  • In 2016, after I wrote him a letter, President Obama came to Flint to get a closer look at the water crisis. His visit brought national attention to the Flint Water Crisis.
  • Since then, I have fundraised over $500,000 to help over 25,000 children in Flint and beyond.
  • When Michigan stopped paying for bottled water for Flint residents, my campaign raised almost $300,000 to distribute over a million bottles of water to residents.
  • In 2019, I shifted my focus to water filters instead of bottled water. Now I work with water filtration company to help communities across the United States that are dealing with toxic water.

Jane Goodall

  • I was born in London, England, on April 3, 1934.

  • In 1960, when I was 26 years old, I established a camp to observe the behavior of chimpanzees.
  • My discovery that chimpanzees make and use tools is considered one of the greatest scholarly achievements of the 20th century.
  • In 1977, I co-founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation.
  • Today, I travel the world speaking about the threats to our planet and promoting action on behalf of our environment and everything living in it.
  • I left school when I was 18 and worked as a secretary and film production assistant until I was able to travel to Africa.

Melinda Gates

  • I was born on August 15, 1964, in Dallas, Texas.

  • My interest in computers began when I was placed in an advanced math class in 7th grade.
  • I went to Duke University to study computer science and economics.
  • In 1987, at the age of 23, I joined Microsoft. I eventually became the general manager of information products.
  • In 1994, my husband and I began our charitable work. In 1996, I left Microsoft to focus on the charities.
  • In 1999, we had 3 different foundations, each worth billions. In 2000, we consolidated the foundations into the “Gates Foundation” with three divisions: global health, global development, and US community and education causes.
  • It is now the world’s largest charitable foundation. Through the end of 2018, we had distributed over $50 billion in grant payments worldwide.

Mae Jemison

  • I was born in Stockholm, Sweden on January 3, 2003.
  • I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome when I was 8 years old.
  • I began to focus on climate change and what I could do to fix it. I started by becoming vegan and refusing to travel by airplane.
  • In 2018, when I was only 15 years old, I began to protest climate change by missing school to sit outside parliament. It was my “School Strike for Climate”.
  • My protest became so popular that students all over the world started their own strikes. I was invited to speak to the United Nations.
  • In 2019, I inspired 4 million people around the world to participate in the largest climate change protest in history.
  • In 2019, I was named the youngest ever Time Magazine Person of the Year.

Khloe Thompson

  • I am a 14-year-old from Irvine, California, and I have made it my mission to help those in need in my community.

  • When I was 8-years-old, I saw women and children living on the street in my hometown, and I knew I had to help.
  • I founded an organization called Khloe Kares. I build “Kare Bags” filled with necessities for homeless people in the Los Angeles area.
  • Since my organization formed in 2015, we have distributed more than 5,000 bags together with local companies, churches, and nonprofits.
  • I am also reaching out globally in Ghana. In 2016, I raised $12,000 to bring a water pump and bathrooms to a rural school.

Malala Yousafzai

  • I was born in Mingora, Pakistan on July 12, 1997

  • In 2008, the Taliban took control of my hometown and declared that girls could not go to school.
  • In 2012, I spoke out publicly on behalf of a girl’s right to learn. A masked gunman boarded my school bus, asked for me, and shot me in the head.
  • After months of surgery and rehabilitation, I moved to the UK and continued my fight for girls’ education.
  • With my father, I established Malala Fund, a charity dedicated to giving every girl an opportunity to achieve a future she chooses.
  • In 2014, I received the Nobel Peace Prize. I was the youngest ever recipient.

Nupol Kiazolu

  • I am a 21-year-old activist and organizer in the Black Lives Matter movement.

  • After the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012, when I was only 13, I protested by wearing a black hoodie to school with the words “Do I look suspicious?”
  • I founded the “Vote 2000” campaign, with the goal to get more young people of color registered to vote.
  • After the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020, I went to Minnesota to help coordinate the Black Lives Matter resistance efforts.
  • I continue to fight against racism because at any moment, I could be killed simply because of the color of my skin. If that happens, I want to die fighting for a righteous cause.

Mikaila Ulmer

  • I am a 16 year old from Austin, Texas, and I have built a lemonade business that has sold over 1 million bottles across the United States.

  • When I was 4 years old, I was stung by 2 bees in one week. I was scared of bees, but my parents helped me research them and what they do for our ecosystem.
  • Around the same time, my great grandmother sent me an old family cookbook featuring a flaxseed lemonade recipe. I added honey from bees to the recipe and started selling it at youth business events and at a stand outside my house, donating 10% of sales to save the bees.
  • In 2015, I went on “Shark Tank”, and got a $60,000 investment from Daymond John to take my business nationwide.
  • Now, my lemonade, called “Me & the Bees Lemonade”, is sold across the US at stores like Fresh Market, Whole Foods, and Kroger. I have also expanded to beeswax-infused lip balm. I still donate 10% of profits to bee conservation groups.

Reshma Saujani

  • I was born in Illinois on November 18, 1975.

  • In college, I studied political science and eventually got my law degree and became a lawyer.
  • In 2010, I decided to run for Congress. I was the first Indian American woman ever to run. Although I did not win, during the race I was able to visit local schools. I saw a major gender gap in computer science classes.
  • In 2012, I founded an international nonprofit organization called “Girls Who Code”, which focuses on closing that gap and changing the perception and image of what a computer programmer should “look like” by inspiring and educating girls and women in computer skills.
  • In 2016, I gave a TED talk called “Teach girls bravery, not perfection” focused on how society discourages girls from trying new things because it might lead to failure. It has over 5 million views and has led to a worldwide discussion about how children are raised differently based on gender.
  • By the end of the 2019 school year, Girls Who Code reached over 185,000 girls across all of the US, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom.