My name is William Greenway. I am 17 years old and have a message that I want to get out to my generation.
Ever since I was a kid I have seen a common mindset that is instilled in kids from an early age. It seems like our creative sides are tarnished in the beginning years of middle school, and we go from wanting to conquer the universe to trying to fit in by purchasing the latest Nikes. At the same time, those who remain creative are singled out just because they’re “different.”
This strange atmosphere creates an army of pre-teen zombies looking to get “As” not because they’re searching for answers, but because it means approval from their parents. We are teaching a generation to do the same thing the cellphones in their pockets can do … replicate. The human mind is a powerful tool and should be used to create not spit out answers. I struggled in school and went unseen for a long time because I was trying to think using a different viewpoint than my classmates.
There was a day when I was in the ninth grade when we were going around the room talking about what we wanted to do. I said that I wanted to be my own boss and create a company in tech. Later my teacher pulled me aside and basically said that because I wasn’t good at math, my dream would be unachievable and that I might want to look into art. Two years later I made a rover in my basement that was meant to help contractors look under buildings to inspect small spaces of construction sites (this was a school project). About a month after I presented this rover, I created a company around it and had 16 articles written about me on tech/construction blogs. There were companies reaching out asking to partner with little 15-year-old me. So I know what that teacher told me way back in ninth grade was so far from the truth, and I hate to think what might have happened if I had listened to her.
Back to the point of this email. I want to spread the message to kids, like me, struggling through high-school and tell them that it doesn’t end there. If you pursue a passion and think outside of the box you can make it no matter how impossible your goal may seem.
WILLIAM J. GREENWAY