Joshua Wong named one of Time’s 25 most influential teens of 2014

Joshua Wong named one of Time’s 25 most influential teens of 2014

After appearing on the cover of the October issue of Time magazine's international edition, Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung, who turned 18 on Monday, has made the magazine’s annual list of most influential teenagers.

Joshua, a first year Open University student majoring in Politics and Public Administration, founded student activist group Scholarism in 2011. Scholarism made headlines in 2012 when Joshua and the group challenged the government’s decision to introduce the national education curriculum.

On September 26, Joshua and Scholarism organised a class boycott for secondary school students to protest against the political reform put forward by the central government. That night, he was arrested after leading a group of students that charged into Civic Square outside the Central Government Offices. He was held by police for more than 40 hours for trespassing on government property.

The student protest led to the early start of the Occupy Central protests on September 28.

Entertainers, a Nobel laureate and a female baseball player are among those who join Joshua on Time's annual list of the most influential teenagers, the magazine said on Monday.

Time said it compiled its list of 25-29 candidates, counting accolades shared by siblings and partners - by analysing their social media following, business successes and cultural importance.

The daughters of US President Barack Obama, Malia, 16, and Sasha, 13; Grammy-winning New Zealand singer Lorde, 17; and Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai, 17, the Pakistani education activist winner, were all on the unranked list dominated by 20 females.

The youngest were Sasha Obama and fellow 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis, a pitching sensation who led her Philadelphia boys’ baseball team to the Little League World Series and landed a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Tavi Gevinson, the 18-year-old fashion writer and founder of popular online magazine Rookie, was noted as emblematic of the contemporary teen in the Internet age, while transgender activist Jazz Jennings, 14, also made the list.

The dominant categories were athletes, actors and singers.

Actors taking centre stage were Kiernan Shipka, 14, of Mad Men, Rico Rodriguez, 16, of Modern Family and The Equalizer’s Chloe Grace Moretz, 17.

Pop singers Becky G, 17, and Austin Mahone, 18, earned plaudits as did New Zealand pro golfer Lydia Ko, 17, and Afghan National Cycling Team member Salma Kakar, 17.

Teens noted for business success include 15-year-old Erik Finman, founder of the online tutoring site; YouTube fashion star Bethany Mota, 18, and actress-turned-stockpicker Rachel Fox, 18.

Irish trio Ciara Judge, 16, Emer Hickey, 17, and Sophie Healy-Thow, 17, were noted for their discovery of bacteria that deposits nitrogen from the atmosphere into soil.

Los Angeles teen chef Flynn McGarry, 15, joined stars of Twitter’s Vine short-form video service, Nash Grier, and singer Shawn Mendes, both 16.

Jaden Smith, 16, son of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, was recognised for acting and his Twitter following, while reality TV stars Kendall Jenner, 18, and Kylie Jenner, 17, were noted for their burgeoning Hollywood and merchandising careers.

Also in the spotlight were 19-year-olds Megan Grassell, founder of the Yellowberry clothing company that makes bras for teens, and South African-Australian YouTube star and actor-musician Troye Sivan.


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