Everyone has their own definitions of success. Some people consider getting straight-A's a worthy achievement, while others think merely passing all of their classes is already an admirable feat. Nowadays, the average person's idea of success is often as simple as getting 11 likes on an Instagram post, or shouting out all the right answers at the TV while watching Jeopardy.
On the other side of the coin, there are these 8 kids, who have achieved in their teenage years what normal people would typically achieve later in their adulthood (or not at all). Your successes are probably child's play to them, and their accomplishments will most likely slay your entire life. Here are 8 teen prodigies - that either originate from, live in, or study in Canada - that will make you question your entire life:
Jacob Barnett, 17 // Theoretical Physics
Jacob Barnett is a boy genius in every sense. Let me take you through a quick snapshot of his life so far: at 8 years old, Barnett was stationed at Indiana University where he audited physics courses. A year later, he transferred to Princeton where he developed a series of groundbreaking mathematical models that elaborated on Einstein's theory of relativity. At 12 years old, he published his first scientific paper, and at 15 years old he became the youngest researcher to be accepted into the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario. He accomplished all of this even after having been diagnosed with severe autism as a toddler.
Alex D’Souza, 17 // Chemical Engineering
Thought you were cool because you skipped a grade in elementary school? Try skipping multiple grades. In 2013, when he wast just 14, D'Souza was accepted into McMaster University for their chemical engineering program and finished his first year with an impressive 11.4/12 grade point average. But he isn't just all smarts; he's into sports and music too. He's actively involved in soccer and also plays the piano and the guitar. He plans to breeze through his undergrad and venture into a biochemical engineering graduate program, in which awards both a medical degree and a doctorate to those who successfully complete the program. If all goes well, he will hold those credentials by the time he's 26.
Sho Okawa, 16 // Advanced Health Sciences
Sho Okawa, at 16 years old, is already a health sciences juggernaut. When he was 14 years old, Okawa was able to pass exams to get into five major Canadian universities - McGill, UBC, UofT, Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria. Not only this, they were all fighting for him; offering him full scholarships in attempt to sway his decision in their favour. At the end of it all, however, he decided to enroll at UBC since it offered a health sciences program that was in line with what he was looking for. His long term ambitions are "to be related to find solutions of many disease like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and more, which is hard to be cured."
Photo cred - jdfr.ca
Michael Thorton, 15 // Soccer
In the world of soccer, Michael Thorton is a force of nature. He's so talented that several pro clubs - such as Manchester City, AS Roma, Inter Milan, Sampdoria and Paris Saint-Germain - are already interested in taking him on. At 14 years old, he was already enrolled in several pro club youth academy trials, but the hope is that he'll eventually sign with one of them as a professional athlete. Thorton hails from Toronto but has been spending most of his time in Europe training with the big dogs.
Kevin Chen, 10 // Classical Piano
At only 10 years old, Kevin Chen has already mastered the piano. That says a lot when considering the fact that I took piano lessons for the duration of half his life and I can only produce a mediocre Heart And Soul and Chopsticks on the keys. Chen, from Calgary, is the youngest Canadian to pass Grade 9 exam at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. He also has his teacher's diploma already, so he's fully certified to give Conservatory-grade piano lessons to anyone who'd like them. In October of 2014, Chen composed an entire orchestral score from just his head, and the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra played it in one of their concerts.
Josh Tiessen, 19 // Painting
Josh Tiessen was declared an art prodigy by an Ohio State psychologist when he was just 17 years old. Josh, a Stoney Creek native, gained national attention for his brilliant paintings which characteristically depict landscapes and natural themes. He began drawing when he was just a toddler, and pursued the arts at the age of six after immigrating to Canada from Russia.
Zac Tiessen, 18 // Guitar
Zac Tiessen is actually Josh Tiessen's younger brother. Like Josh, Zac was also declared a child prodigy by the same Ohio State psychologist; though, for music instead of visual arts. Zac is an extremely skilled guitar player and composes highly intricate heavy metal music. He's also enrolled in advanced theory courses at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Jan Lisiecki, 21 // Musical Marvel
Jan Lisiecki technically isn't a teen anymore, but he still fits the bill as his most prodigious years occurred in his teens. He was born in Calgary, Alberta and began studying piano at the age of 5. When he was 9, he made his debut onto the main stage and toured with several orchestras, including Canada's NAC Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He even played for Queen Elizabeth II at Parliament Hill on Canada Day in 2011, and was named as one of Canada's future leaders by Maclean's in 2011. Craaazy.
I tried to find females, but I didn't come across any from Canada. I'm sure there are several that fit the bill! Do you happen to know of any? Leave a comment below!
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