MAKERS in the Making: 5 Teen Leaders and Their Goals for 2015

Every week, we'll be highlighting young women who have MAKERS potential, people who seek to make a difference in the world, who take initiative and break new ground.

Today, we take a look at five teens who made great progress in 2014. The list includes scientists, a YouTube star, and a fearless rock climber. They all have big goals for 2015, and we hope their ambitions will inspire you to set yours. After all, we can all be MAKERS in the making.

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Mo’ne Davis: Playing Varsity Mo’ne Davis helped define 2014 when she pitched a shutout at the Little League World Series. In 2015, she’ll be playing varsity basketball (as a middle schooler, no less) and moving towards her goal of playing basketball for the University of Connecticut. When she was named AP’s Female Athlete of the Year, she told them her message to everyone, especially girls, is: “Always follow your dreams. If there’s something people tell you that you can’t do, go for it.” Image via Getty

Irish Students: Preparing for Space and Changing the World With a science project that could help increase crops and solve famine, Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey, and Sophie Healy-Thow (on the right) won the grand prize at the 2014 GoogleScience Fair. In addition to taking time off to enjoy their prize—a National Geographic expedition to the Galapagos Islands and training as air force civilians for a trip to outer space with Richard Branson, in addition to funding and a scholarship—the teenagers are looking forward to commercializing their project in order to “really begin to change the world.” Image via NBC News

Salma Kakar: Leading a Team to the Olympics 16-year-old Salma Kakar is the lead rider on the new Afghan National Cycling Team, a team that has to train in secret and change locations regularly to avoid harassment. Thankfully Kakar is backed by her family: Her big sister publishes Afghanistan’s first feminist magazine, “Riudad,” while her mother is a pediatrician and her father’s an engineer. Kakar has Olympic dreams, and she’ll work to achieve them in 2015. Image via Defundir

Bethany Mota: Picking Up Another Talent The 19-year-old YouTube star was 2014’s most-Googled fashion designer, beating classic designers like Kate Spade and Valentino. She has over 9 million subscribers on YouTube, and designed a line for Aeropostale this year, in addition to collaborating with J.C. Penny and Forever 21 PLUS debuting on Dancing with the Stars. In 2015, she wants to get better at the ukelele (we’re sure she’ll also throw a few more designing projects in there too).

Ashima Shiraishi: Climbing Higher A rock-climbing phenom, Ashima told the New York Times in 2013, “I just can’t stop, because I love it.” Rock climbing ratings start at V0 and go to V16. Ashima has already done a V14, only one of four women to have completed the challenge. In 2015, at age 13, she’s already completed her second V14 at The Swarm, a climb in Bishop, CA. Ashima’s climb was the first female ascent of The Swarm. As the year continues, she’ll keep climbing higher, hoping to eventually go for Olympic gold. Image via Climbing Narc