99 inspirational STORIES of kids who followed their dreams
In her easy-to-read style, Margot gives us colorful backstories of successful tech entrepreneurs, non-profit founders, political activists, filmmakers, musicians, and others who are changing the world, and shows how their parents' support created creative, confident, resilient, fearless self-starters.
When movie director (Crazy Rich Asians) Jon Chu's parents saw how much he loved making movies when he was in third grade, they found the money to get him a mixer. And when he was in high school and his mom Ruth saw his passion for filmmaking, she got him books so he could learn more. And when he shot his first movie in college, his family drove down and supplied food to the cast and crew for 10 days.
When she was in her early 20s, Paige Mycoskie bought a used sewing machine, quit her job, moved back home with her family, and started sewing. Other parents might have been horrified, but Paige's mom Pam went out of her way to support her daughter's dreams, helping in every way she could. Today, her surfing-inspired clothing has made Aviator Nation a global lifestyle brand; she's opened 13 stores and is negotiating to open several more around the world.
Under Armour founder Kevin Plank’s mom Jayne told her five sons, “There are no problems, there are only solutions you haven’t found yet.” Her other mottos were: “Embrace adversity and get over it,” and “Live your passion.” When he was playing college football, he got tired of sweating through his cotton t-shirts. He found a better material and started Under Armour.
Radha & Miki Agrawal
Radha and Miki Agrawal are serial social entrepreneurs whose disruptive companies are valued at almost half a billion dollars. Although their parents didn't know anything about soccer, when they saw how much their girls loved it, they organized and coached a team to support the future Legendary Soccer Twins, who credit their success to the grit they developed playing three hours every day. Radha founded Daybreaker, a global morning dance movement with 500,000 members in 30 cities; Miki co-founded three companies, Tushy, Thinx, and Wild pizzerias.
Because Jonathan Neman's parents were immigrants, he grew up learning to work hard, and not being afraid to try new things. When he and two college friends wanted to start a salad shack when they graduated from college, his parents, as always, were supportive. Today sweetgreen, which just went public, works with 500 farmers to provide fresh, local food to 120 restaurants.
Nia Linder Batts
Nia Batts says because her parents taught her not to fear failure when she was growing up, it gave her the courage to pivot when Detroit Blows, the successful salon she co-founded with Sophia Bush, closed during the pandemic. She now invests in businesses affecting under-represented communities at Union Heritage Capital.