Skool Girl Online teamed up with Youth 4 Excellence CIC to compile a list of the city’s most influential young people 25 and under. In no particular order, take a look at who we have…
1. Daniel Sturridge, 25
Daniel Sturridge signed his first professional contract in 2006 and went onto become a top scorer for Manchester City FA Youth Cup in 2008. Since, his career has taken off leading him to your very TV screen. Sturridge has now firmly established himself as England’s main striker as we saw in the FIFA World Cup Brazil, June 2014. He began the 2014-15 season in trademark fashion, scoring the winning goal against Southampton at Anfield, and signing a deal with Liverpool in October 2014. Daniel Sturridge is truly an inspiration for Birmingham’s young aspiring sportsmen.
2. Saima Chowdhury, 21
Saima Chowdhury is a fashion photographer, youtuber and blogger. Her quirky blog posts and video’s feature various topics, comedy and her thoughts on the latest fashion trends and beauty regimes. Saima has become a huge online phenomenon leading to a combined social media following of 283476 (and I haven’t even included her Tumblr stats!). Does anyone else agree, when I say she definitely needs her own TV show? Oh wait, you can catch her in episodes of The Corner Shop on Brit Asia (Sky Channel 824).
3. Stephen Arthur, 25
Stephen Arthur is no ordinary fashion designer. A Central Saint Martins graduate, Stephen’s designs have already captured the hearts of women across the globe, including being worn on red carpets. After showcasing at Sweden Fashion Week in 2011 and then winning ITV’s national TV Competition in 2012, at aged 22, Arthur secured a deal with John Lewis Partnership to have his Perfect Party Dress sold in their stores across England and online. When he’s not travelling internationally, he is working behind the scene on his next collection for London and Sweden Fashion Week or designing for the likes of Azealia Banks.
4. Nathan Redmond, 20
Ah, our favourite number 22! Nathan Redmond is a professional footballer who began his career with none other than his home-town club - Birmingham City! He made his first-team debut in the Football League Cup against Rochdale in August 2010, becoming the club’s second-youngest player ever at the age of 16. After representing England at levels up to under-19, Redmond made his first under-21 appearance in the 2013 European Under-21 Championship finals and joined Premier League club Norwich City in 2013.
5. Jessica Fitzpatrick, 25
Birmingham’s official‘IT’girl! Jessica is the Managing Director of Scene Birmingham Magazine. Scene Birmingham was labelled Birmingham’s ‘must read’ magazine with a readership of up to 30,000, achieved in just a year of distribution. Since, Jessica has gone onto become a marketing consultant, Co-owner of Zing Vodka UK and has been nominated for ‘Best Media Company’ and twice for ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’.
6. Rem Conway, 20
You would never believe he’s only 20. Rem Conway is an Actor, Author, Director, Entertainer, Model, Producer and Play-script Writer. At 17-years-old he founded Graft Entertainment and in 2012 he produced three live showcases of his first Jamaican Comedy play,‘Uncle Ben’; which sold out, in the same year he featured in Kano’s music video – Beamer, starred as the face of Footlocker Europe, modelled for Dazed and Confused and received the Celebrating Youth Excellence Art Award. Rem went onto self-publish his debut book, Do you feel me?…The Mind Unleashed…He then landed a spotlight in comedy, opening for Richard Blackwood at The Real Deal Comedy Jam. In 2013, he produced his second play ’Uncle Ben The Wedding‘ which also sold out at The Drum. His third production Uncle Ben’s Festive Block Party(which of course sold out) made it to billboards across Birmingham!
7. Shara Johnson, 24
Shara is an award winning fashion designer and graduate from London College Of Fashion (LCF), one of the leading universities in the world for fashion education. Shara’s designs have been showcased across the UK from the Midlands Fashion Awards to the catwalk of the Clothes Show Live. And wait for it…She’s even worked for Victoria Beckham!
8. Ellison Porter, 20
Anyone recognise this face? No…Does Take Me Out, Series 6 ring a bell? Ellison Porter is a musician, professional footballer – currently playing for Leamington FC, commercial model for Calvin Klein, JD Sports, G-Star Raw and Diffusion and CEO of EVP Talent Management, EVP Night-life, EVP Clothing, EVP INtune and EVP Visual. Taking his business around the globe, Ellison has made a name for himself securing huge financial investments for his company and receiving a Celebrating Youth Excellence Entrepreneurial Award in 2014.
9. Jade Richards, 20
One of the city’s most talked about young poets, Jade Richards is certainly a star in the making. Jade has graced various stages across Europe including performing for Lady Leshurr, Paigey Cakey and has featured on BBC 1 Xtra. You can now catch her presenting on New Style radio 98.7FM, working behind the scene’s with BBC 1Xtra and interviewing the likes of Indiana.
10. Daniel Bridgewater, 22
Daniel Bridgewater is the Director of Hero Communications, Founder of Fourth Wall Theatre Network, Trustee of the RSA, UpRising and Longbridge Com-1st as well as Co-Founder of the Art of Leadership Programme and Governor of E-ACT social enterprise. At the age of 19, Daniel started his first social enterprise forming partnerships with the police force, B31 Voices and the Northfield Ecocentre. In just 18 months of launching, he worked with hundreds of young people across the city. Daniel was shortlisted for the Hot 500 Social Enterprise of the Year, the People’s Choice Award, runner up in the Social Enterprise West Midlands Awards 2012 in both the ‘People’ and ‘Profit’ categories and won a Future 100 Award in 2012. In 2014 Daniel received the Celebrating Youth Excellence – Youth of Excellence Award and Art Award.
11. Call Me Unique, 23
You’ll only ever find one urban gypsy in this town. It’s all in the name really. Unique(real name Natasha Brown)picked up the guitar at age 16 and the rest is history. Regularly travelling solo around Europe, Unique has graced multiple stages from Birmingham to Poland including Glastonbury 2013, Music Camp 2013 where she was a support act for Polish superstar Kamil Bednarek and you can also catch her at the LG Arena Forum opening for the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J. BBC 1XTRA’s DJ Target dubbed Unique as “One to Watch”, BBC Introducing play listed her signature single The Wife as ‘track of the week’ and UK Unsigned Hype awarded Unique the Rising Star Award 2014.
12. Anisa Haghdadi BEM, 24
Anisa is an award winning social entrepreneur, the Founder and CEO of Beatfreeks, Co-Founder of Class Careers, Founder of Change24 and Chair of BPS Aspire. Anisa’s business success has been recognised across both national and regional press including Sky News, The Sunday Times, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Midlands Today(just to name a few) At age 23 Anisa was awarded a British Empire Medal for Services to Education and Young People. Her awards include: Baldwins KickStart Youth Entrepreneur Award (2013), Birmingham Young Professional of the Year Aspiring Talent (2012), Aim Higher Associate of the Year (2010)and has been highly commended for West Midlands Women of the Year Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Social Change (2013), Midlands Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2012), Social Entrepreneur of the Year ’Champion of Change’ (2011) and Placement Excellence Award from Aston University for Outstanding Contribution to Employer (2011).
13. Jamie Dunn, 23
Jamie Dunn is an award winning social entrepreneur, international speaker, Birmingham Mail columnist, and Author. Jamie set up his first business aged 12 and by the age of 15 he had five market stalls across Birmingham, earning up to £500 per week profit. At the age of 16 he landed a place at the Peter Jones National Enterprise Academy, being chosen as one of the 28 young entrepreneurs from thousands of hopefuls across the country to be mentored by Dragon Den’s Peter Jones. After graduating, Jamie went onto work with over 800 young people and at 18 co-founded Made By Young People, offering a professional printing service which supplied to the likes of Asda, Ikea and Aston Villa. At 22, Jamie went onto work with Governments and Educational systems from around the World, developing Youth Entrepreneurship Eco-systems. In 2012, he co-founded The A Fund, co-authored his first book and wrote a weekly column for Virgin.com. Jamie has been short-listed in the JCI Top 20 Young People of the World 2012, (previously won by John F Kennedy)and was awarded the Youth of Excellence Award, 2011.
14. Bambi Bains, 19
Bambi Bains is currently taking the urban desi scene by storm as the leading lady of Team PBN music collective. In 2013, the talented singer, dancer model and actress released her debut single Zaalma, gaining over 600,000 views online. When she’s not gracing the stage of Norway she’s singing covers of Whitney Houston songs on BBC Asian Network.
15. Jodie Cook (Cole), 25
Jodie Cook is the Managing Director of JC Social Media Agency and Co-founder of Clever Tykes – enterprise education for children. Jodie can be found in so many magazines and media platforms, I’ve lost count. Let’s see, there’s The Independent, Birmingham Post, The Telegraph, BQ Magazine (FRONT PAGE), Birmingham Living Magazine, The BBC…I think you get the point. In fact, UK Twitter Director, Bruce Daisley, labelled JC Social Media’s training workshop Tweet to The Top ‘a great initiative’. In 2013, JC was shortlisted for the Hot 500 Best Media Business Award, City&Style’s Most Outstanding Contribution To Technology Award and she successfully snapped up the title of Birmingham Young Professional of the Year, 2014.
16. C4, 24
Oorite! Oorite! Of course I couldn’t miss out the renowned music star C4 (real name Chanda Gerald). Before he even left school C4 already rocketed to #4 on the Urban Charts with his single Detention with Romo and H-Kid. In 2010, he continued to perform across the city including a stage appearance at the NIA, in the same year C4 aged 20 launched his own clothing brand – Oorite. This created such a storm with his fans, he now has customers in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Italy. Looks like his back pocket is certainly Oorite!
And just incase you are wondering who on Earth I think I am creating this list? Hi! My name’s Talisha Johnson (Tee Cee) and I am 21. I am a Journalist, Author, Magazine Publisher and currently work as a Broadcast Assistant at BBC Birmingham.
At 16-years-old I self-published my first book Snow Black the Seven Rastas and Other Short Stories. In 2009, I co-founded Youth 4 Excellence CIC and currently stand as Chairperson for the Annual Celebrating Youth Excellence Awards which *surprise *surprise recognises the positive achievements and contributions of Birmingham and the West Midlands exceptional young people. In 2012, I graduated from The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy. I then went onto establish my career as a Journalist interning for magazine titles: Closer, Heat and Ask A Mum. In the same year, I became the Editorial Assistant at Scene Birmingham magazine and was named a Black History Hero by The Priory School, Birmingham. In September 2013 I launched Skool Girl Online; teen-girl lifestyle magazine and went onto sit as Chairperson for Birmingham Empowerment Youth Forum.
My Awards: Shortlisted for Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Ebony Black Business Awards, 2014, Nominated Young Social Entrepreneur Award – UnLtd Lived It Awards, 2014, Appointed Birmingham Social Media Reporter for Global Entrepreneurship Week, 2013, Local Youth Hero Award – Association of Jamaica National Annual Gala and Awards, 2013, Appointed Ambassador For Chanel-Lee Smile Foundation, 2013, Received a Diana Award – Envision Truth About Youth Awards, 2011
THIS IS NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST! I REPEAT THIS IS NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST!Birmingham has MANY more hidden gems tucked away behind the negative press and bias media. The question is, are you prepared to shout about them?