Toronto teen makes Bloomberg’s Ones to Watch in 2018 list
Fourteen-year-old activist Hannah Alper is only Canadian and the youngest person on the Bloomberg's Ones to Watch in 2018 list.
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At the age of 9, Hannah Alper created a popular environmentalist blog. Since then, she has become a public speaker and social advocate affiliated with organizations like WE Day. Now, at 14, she has been recognized as Bloomberg’s Ones to Watch in 2018.
Alper has travelled across North America and beyond, raising awareness for education, environmental protection, anti-bullying and mental health for the last five years.
She was nominated by Lilly Singh, Canadian YouTube sensation, who is one of Alper’s many role models and a partner in her work.
“It feels very, very surreal,” said Alper on being the youngest person on the list, and at the gala hosted by Bloomberg on Dec. 5.
“Being the only young person (on the list) proved that young people aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow but also today,” said Alper, enthusiastically. “I think that my generation is really the one that’s changing the world and I’m happy to represent it.”
Alper, an aspiring journalist who hopes to work for CTV or CNN, was especially excited to be on the list with Ronan Farrow, whom she admires for his reporting on sexual-assault claims against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
At the gala, Alper sat next to Martha Stewart and Ken Frazier, the director of Merck, a global health-care company. Frazier is also known for being one of the first to resign from U.S. President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council in August, after the events of Charlottesville.
Frazier knew all about Alper’s first book, Momentus — a collection of 19 exclusive interviews with change-makers who aim to guide young people to also create change. He told her that resigning from Trump’s council was the “right thing to do” — a sentiment that has stayed with her.
“It felt so good that someone of his calibre and passion knew who I was,” she said. “I’m looking forward to having more conversations with them. They were all adults and I was talking to them as a colleague.”
She hopes to use the recognition to highlight even more issues like poverty, homelessness and youth empowerment.
“We need to start highlighting more young people,” she said. “Kids being on the list gives us hope because it means we can make a difference and a huge impact on the world.”
“I’m excited to see what more young people I discover year after year after year,” she said.
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