At 15, you are already an editor of the magazine Pulse Spikes- tell us about this platform.
When I started Pulse Spikes, my sole focus was to revolutionize the media and create a publication that would be a space made by young people for young people. The magazine collaborates with young photographers, makeup artists, and writers – focusing on creatives under the age of 25. The magazine also receives thousands of submissions from adolescents around the world – including countries like Indonesia, Germany, Finland, Belgium, and South Africa. Pulse Spikes is not just a magazine, it is a platform where creatives can grow and develop without any limitations, a platform that introduces young visionaries to the world. The name Pulse Spikes embodies who and what we represent: a magazine created by passionate people covering exciting things, things that get one’s heart racing.
Why is it so important to you that teens are heard? How do you help IGNITE their voices?
It is very normal for adults to label teens as ignorant, rude, stupid, and immature. Our thoughts and voices are disregarded for there’s this idea of a stereotypical teen, a teen who has bad intentions, who disobeys the rules. Most teens do not relate to this stereotypical teen. Teens all around the world have already achieved incredible success and have impacted the world. Take Malala Yousafzai who is using her voice for female education. More adults need to value the voices of teens as we are the future leaders.
Teens all around the world have already achieved incredible success and have impacted the world … More adults need to value the voices of teens as we are the future leaders.
Ignite is a collaborative platform I founded to share the voices of millennials. I wanted to share the strength, resilience, and intelligence of this generation by delving into the minds of young people.
Yay! You are the winner of the 1st TPFG Super Girl Contest and our 2017 ambassador- What was it about TPFG’s platform that spoke to you and resonated with your own mission & messaging?
It’s a great honor to be an ambassador for TPFG. I am amazed by the content the platform has shared on the influence of women and girls, a topic that made up a significant portion of my own project IGNITE. Lauri and the team at TPFG have created a community of strong, powerful women, and by promoting girl power across both our platforms, the impact will be prodigious.
The goal of both Pulse Spikes and Ignite was to create a space of collaboration and community, not competition
TPFG coincides with my intentions with Pulse Spikes and Ignite. Ignite is an online platform and book that delves upon topics that affect youth today such as self-love, the LGBT community, and breaking stereotypes. The goal of both Pulse Spikes and Ignite was to create a space of collaboration and community, not competition.
What has been your most rewarding moment with Pulse Spikes? Your biggest challenge?
The most rewarding thing about Pulse Spikes is that I am able to provide this platform to young people around the world. I am in a position where I have the skills and connections to provide opportunities for millennials to pursue their creative passions. As for specific moments, I worked with Christina Grimmie for the cover of the second issue of Pulse Spikes. She was so kind and genuine that the shoot flew by and I was grinning from ear-to-ear by the time we wrapped. She covered the “Brave Hearts” issue and truly embodied what it means to have strength and courage.
Aside from that, I photographed 5-time Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Nathan Adrian. Plus, he currently holds the American record for the 50-meter freestyle event so that’s crazy.
The biggest challenge was when I first started the magazine. No one knew about the magazine and I didn’t have experience in the field. I took a lot of risks, received a lot of rejection e-mails. It took a lot of work and time to build up the publication to where it is now. I was very determined and persistent; a “no” to me meant no today, not no tomorrow or in the future.
Story & Photos by Lauri Levenfeld
Styling by Katja O’Brien & Erin Kelley for BCBGeneration
Makeup & Hair by Irmina Martinez Loeffler