We have two new idols, and they're showing us just how our generation can change the world
Stacey Ferreira and Jared Kleinert are two millennials who have taken it upon themselves to inspire two billion young people to make a difference in the world. No big deal, right? Nope. Definitely a huge deal, and we’re already inspired!
Their joint venture is called 2 Billion People Under 20, which is an online community and movement working to inspire two billion people around the word, aged 20 or under, to overcome the “lazy” and “entitled” stereotypes millennials face. The hope is that the movement will show millennials (all two billion of them), and anyone who wants to better understand themselves and their unique potential, how everyone can make a difference at any age by acting on their passions.
At only 19 and 22-years-old, Ferreira and Kleinert have also teamed up to publish a book titled 2 Billion Under 20: How Millennials are Breaking Down Age Barriers and Changing the World. The book features stories from 75 young people who have some serious impressive accomplishments under their belts.
This isn’t Ferreira and Kleinert’s first entrepreneurial experience, however. At just 18-years-old, Ferreira started the tech venture MySocialCloud with her brother. The company ended up raising $1.2 million in funding before being acquired by Reputation.com within just two years of its launch. By the time Kleinert was 16-years-old, he had already founded two businesses. He was also working with two venture-capital start-ups. Did we mention he did these things when he was 16?
Overachievers? Yes. And in the best way.
At this point, neither Ferreira nor Kleinert have attended college — leaving more time for real-life business opportunities, which is part of what inspired 2 Billion People Under 20 to begin with. The idea for the movement came from the Thiel Fellowship, which is an educational alternative, and founded by the co-founder of PayPal (again, no big deal, right?). Thiel bases its principles off of this Mark Twain quote: “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education,” So, the idea is to gain real-life, educational experience outside of a formal college without succumbing to laziness or complacency. But Ferreira and Kleinert still plan on continuing their education eventually — they are both currently taking a break from their enrollment at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study to focus on their business.
“I believed in [2 Billion Under 20’s] mission,” Ferreira told Mashable. “I felt like I was an example of it. I knew there were tons of other kids out there who were as well, and I was excited to share those messages with the world.”
Ferreira believes that confidence is something that can make or break any situation. “The biggest thing I told myself then (and keep telling myself to this day) is that you only live a moment once and you might not get that chance again,” she told us. “So when I get the opportunity, I walk up to that person I’ve always wanted to talk to and ask them a question. I start the business I can’t get my mind off of. I know that everyone is awesome in their own unique way, and everyone has a story to tell. The worst that could happen is that someone could say ‘no’, but that’s extremely rare.”
We love this idea and really hope it takes off. Ferreira says, to get involved with 2 Billion Under 20, “young people can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or add me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thestaceyferreira) and we’ll add them to our active Facebook community so they can connect and learn from more young people working on amazing projects!”
We are super inspired by these two incredible people, and can’t wait to see the movement help make some huge changes in the world!