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Anna Zhang, 15


During the five-minute break between classes at Horace Greeley High School, Anna Zhang isn’t scrolling through Facebook. Instead, she is setting up interviews to be published in Pulse Spikes, her online and quarterly print magazine focused on entertainment, travel, lifestyle, and fashion. The 15-year-old founded Pulse Spikes in 2015 because she saw a disconnect in the magazine industry between publishers and their readers, who are often from different generations. “Pulse Spikes is a platform that introduces young talent to the world,” she says. (That talent has included late singer-songwriter Christina Grimmie and Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian, both of whom Zhang photographed.) Through the magazine and its social media platforms, young photographers, makeup artists, and writers share the successes and struggles of their peers — most of whom are under age 25. When deciding whom to profile, Zhang looks for relatable role models who are passionate about what they do. Thousands of adolescents around the world are part of the Pulse Spikes creative network, with about 30 to 40 employed regularly. Zhang is also a social-rights activist and has spoken at three TEDx events.