Who do you admire and look up to -- and just think is a total rock star -- who isn't older than you, who is your same age or younger than you?
It doesn't have to be someone famous (though it's fine if it is): it could be a friend, sibling, someone your age doing something awesome in your community or at school, what have you.
Often young people are kind of framed as people who haven't yet done anything amazing or inspiring, but we know around here that's bollocks.
So, who rocks your world that is a peer, not someone older than you are? And what it is about them that makes them such an inspiration?
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 66633 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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There is this girl who is in most of my classes with me at college (she is 18, I am 19), and I think she is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She moved out of her house at 14 with money she made from modeling jobs, and was in a great 5 year relationship with her boyfriend until recently, which I think was very brave of her to end to see more of what the world has to offer. Right now she works three jobs as well as full-time school. She is also an activist for non-profit, and does lectures about children harmed by land-mines and such. I don't want to be too specific for her sake, but I think she is so cool!
Posts: 6 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2008
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I would have to say my boyfriend Tre. He's an all around amazing guy. I was headed down a bad road before I found him. I was raped at 15, my aunt who was there for me my whole life and acted as a mother to me, who was also my very best friend, committed suicide when I was 16. That took a tremendous impact on my life. A guy I grew up with and was truly completely in love with committed suicide shortly afterwards. We could never do anything about it because our parents were best friends and we didnt want to ruin anything in their relationship, but the day of his funeral his sister told me he loved me completely as well. This hit really hard. I was drinking excessively, and on my way to rehab for alcohol and cocaine, when I met him.
I really wouldn't be who I am now with out him. He showed me that the bad things that have happened don't have to consume me and that even though at times I feel ugly and worthless, I"m beautiful and can do anything I want and have anything I want in life if I stop living in the past and strive for my future.
He's constantly pushing me to do things that I want to do even when I feel like it will be too much of an effort and fear that I won't succeed.
Right now I'm going through training to become a nurse and even though I won't get to see him because the class is 8am - 4pm, Mon - Fri, and I have to work 4:30 - 8:30 every day Mon - Fri, plus 5:30 am to 6 pm every Sat and Sun just to pay for this, he's pushing me to do it and is standing behind me 100%
He's that hand that helps me steady my ground when I feel like I'm falling. And if I do fall, he's the one who's there to catch me.
Our relationship is strong and I know that he's the one I want to spend my life with. And I also know that if things don't work out the way I want them to with us, that I won't regret our time together because he's done so much to help me through the hardest times.
I even have a tattoo that symbolizes our relationship. (Not just our intimate relationship, but our friendship and everything he's done to make my life worth it again)
I know that religion isn't for everyone, especially nowadays, but I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason, and if there is a god (I'm Christian so I do believe) I believe Tre was supposed to have a major impact in my life. Even if things don't work out with Tre and I, our time together was for a purpose. He helped me see the real things in life that matter, and showed me a new light.
-------------------- And I say thank you for the scars And the guilt and the pain Every tear I've never cried Has sealed your fate. Did you take me for a fool or were you just too blind to see that every effort made has failed and there is no destroying me? Atreyu Posts: 366 | From: West Virginia | Registered: Dec 2005
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I'm going to say my best friend Lizzie (13). It's really weird, because she's this insecure person with really low self-esteem. But she's so kind to everybody. I wish I could be that way.
Posts: 18 | From: USA | Registered: Mar 2008
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I met a pretty cool young woman at a group recently. She's about 8 years younger than me but I look up to her.
She wears glasses and braces and has issues with acne. She also has Aspergers syndrome and sometimes stutters when she speaks. She is strong and brave and open when she talks about what it means to be a lesbian. She encourages me to speak up when I am scared or over-thinking things.
She is beautiful and I am proud to know her.
-------------------- "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."
I would have to say my friend Sierra. I had a problem with cutting my self and she was there for me . She never said ,"stop" excatly but she just made me think about what I was doing. And when I told her I was a lesbian she was cool with it and didn't even kick me out of her house. There was this thing in facebook that said ,"Friends that are so comforatable with eachother that it's almost TOO comforatable. And everyone thinks they are going out" or somthing to that effect (iforget the exact wording) and we just looked at eachother and yelled "LIKE"! Sierra made me feel like I was worth somthing even when no one else thought I was. It's really hard to describe our relashionship beyond that. She helped me through my alcoholicism, my cutting, and my drug stages. And I would like to belive I helped her too with her assorted problems.
So yeah that's my shero summed up in a really short really unoranized paragraph. And I still feel like I left lots of things out. So if by any chance she reads this I would like to say thanks for yanking me down from the side of that building and telling me I was stupid, basically thanks for giving me a reality check and slapping me in the face..... Multiple times. Oh yeah and Sierra? That pop tart I swore I didn't eat? I did! XD I am so evil!
-------------------- I say you love who you love. Lust over who you lust over. And are happy with who you are happy with. Everything inbetween doesn't matter!!! Posts: 29 | From: United States of America | Registered: Jul 2010
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My boyfriend - He's a few months younger than me, and basically he's just a really kind, caring person who tries hard at everything he does and he's really helped me feel better about myself, not because I feel validated by having a boyfriend but because he's really loving and supports me and he listens to me.
My younger sister - We've both worked really hard to build a better relationship with each other and I appreciate the effort on her part, and while I think she may have had depression she still clearly is trying to keep her brain active, and she does a great job of taking care of her dog.
Some of the people I know at my LGBT youth group - There are a lot of nice, creative, fun people there who I can see are really doing their best to be allies to others in the group.
-------------------- Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see. Posts: 840 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2008
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Somebody who, at 21, is 13.5 months younger than me. He's very smart, he's hard-working, he's knowledgeable, he's brave and tough and confident and affectionate and nice and funny, he cares about people and already at the age of 19 he was active in, indeed taking a leading role in, a lot of things that make people's lives better. He's at ease with all sorts of people and treats them like equals. I think he is just the cat's pyjamas. He's everything I'm not and wish I could be. I'm astonished that he can be so informed and poised and accomplished at his age.
Posts: 170 | From: UK | Registered: Mar 2011
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My biggest shero is a couple years older than me, but I don't think of her as the mysterious adult-she's pretty much been my best friend since I was about eleven, and I'm 19 now...she just turned 21. When she was 6, her dad left their family, and her mom had really bad asthma attacks and had problems holding down a job. So at 6, she was getting her 5 year old sister and 3 year old brother from bed, walking her sister to school and taking her brother to the daycare. When she was about 9 she got a paper route and was still taking care of her siblings while biking a paper route in the mornings. And then when she was 18, her mom passed away. My family had just moved away, and her and her siblings ended up having to move in with a pastor from the local church. Then her sister, a year younger than her, moved in with a man they knew to babysit his three children (ages 6,5, and 2 at the time), and when my friend came out to visit my family, she got a call from the oldest child telling her that her sister was "nasty"...she found out upon her return that her younger sister was sleeping with this girl's father. The day after she turned 18, my friend's sister was married to a man the age of her father, and my friend became an aunt a month later. And then, in the midst of this complete nightmare, she came out as gay about six months ago and has been really great dealing with prejudice from people in that area, including friends from the church she attends. Basically, she's one of the strongest women I know and I look up to her so much, she's been one of the few people I'm actually comfortable talking to about nearly anything.
And then one boy I knew before I moved...call him Brian. He was a year younger than me, and was the third person in my school to join the gifted and talented program, after me and my brother. He was so creative, and fun to hang out with and kind. He was literally the only boy in the combined grades (my school combined grades 5 and 6 when I was in 6th and he in 5th) who would sit near me, and he didn't ditch or make fun of me or try to blend in with the crowd when (inevitably) the teasing that goes along with a boy and girl sitting near each other came along. He ignored them, and helped me do the same. Not to mention, he was really smart. I'm a good speller, but it just comes naturally. I look at a word, or I write it in my head, and if it looks wrong then it's spelled incorrectly. He studied spelling bee words for ages before each spelling bee, and he won the county bee the last year before he was ineligible. He didn't have that natural ability, but he practiced as much as he could...he actually trained for it.
Posts: 178 | From: USA | Registered: Sep 2010
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My cousin Lulu. She's 13 but plays football like a professional and is really strong in spirit. She goes after what she wants, asks boys out on dates, laughs without any embarrassment and really enjoys herself without caring or paying attention if people imply she has to be different because of her gender of age.
-------------------- ~ Saffy Scarleteen Volunteer
To my Abuser: I'm seeing stars. I bet you can't do that. Posts: 1265 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010
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