Jack Andraka – An Inspiring Teenager

Jack Andraka – An Inspiring Teenager


Upon hearing the story of Jack Andraka, a 15-year old teenager who developed a quick, easy and simple way for the early detection of pancreatic cancer, I started to think of the many ways that young people are contributing to our global progress. Jack’s story is inspiring, not just because it’s going to revolutionize screening for cancer, but because he allows us to question about global potential.

Consider this:

  • What if every child around the world were not only given the opportunity of life?
  • What if every child had their dreams and curiosities encouraged?

At the most basic level, teenagers like Jack are able to make these types of contributions because they are here, alive. Young adults like Jack can make these contributions to their villages, communities, towns, cities and countries because they’ve managed to get through their first five years of life, when childhood mortality is at its highest. How different would the world be if the 19,000 children that die everyday grew up to be strong, healthy, and protected from preventable and treatable diseases?

Jack invented a cancer test strip that is 26,000 times cheaper, 128 times faster and 400 times more sensitive than existing models. With a 90% accuracy rate in testing for prostate and other cancers, and costing only 3 cents and takes five minutes to run. The medical and science community was revolutionized by Jack ever since he won the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last year. Jack now has a fantastic future in front of him, ev en after being turned down 199 times when requesting lab space for his experiment. Only one professor from Johns Hopkins took a chance with him.

If you haven’t yet seen the YouTube video of this incredible teenager. I’d love for you watch it for yourself and it is included below:

You can also watch his TEDx Talk below:

Did you know that there are millions of children under five years old dying every year from preventable causes? This translates to approximately 19,000 children every single day. Doesn’t this make you wonder about the human potential being lost, every day? How about every year? As you may know, our work here at the Children’s Prize focuses on finding the best plan that proposes to save the greatest number of children’s lives from 0 to 5 years of age. The winning plan will be awarded a $1 million dollar prize. You never know the potential that could be released in saving the lives of these children. Who knows? One might grow up and change the world!


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