Dream big at secondary school and who knows…
Just about to start secondary school? It could be the start of a great big new adventure. Dream big, work hard, find your passion and the world could be your oyster. You may even join this list of high flyers who have all turned their dreams into reality before they’ve even left school.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (KJT to most) is an English track and field superstar specialising in the heptathlon and pentathlon. Running, jumping and shot-putting her way to heptathlon gold at the World Youth Championships 2009 at the age of just 16, her star has been rising ever since. Crowned European Indoor champion in 2015 and 2019 and World Indoor pentathlon champion in 2018, she has her sights firmly set on gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In the words of her fellow Liverpudlians, she is ‘boss like’.
Edwards is the founder of SBTV, an online media platform that discovers and champions emerging artists, with over 1 million subscribers. Whilst at secondary school, he began to make his own music videos, which he would post on YouTube, with nothing more than a camcorder - which he received as a Christmas present – and a laptop. This led him to feature in an advert for a well-known tech giant and SBTV was born. He is responsible for launching the music careers of some of the music industry’s biggest hitters including; Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Emilie Sande and Professor Green. His estimated worth is £30 million, and he is still only 29-years-old. All this from picking up a camera and finding out he loved creating videos. “Follow you passion”, as Jamal would say, the rest will take care of itself.
Born and bred in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, student Rose Dyson started her cruelty-free, vegan lip care business, Pura Cosmetics, in her final year at secondary school. Selling her initial batch of lip balms at her old primary school's Christmas fair, she earned around £40. "That was my first profit," she says. "I thought I was rich." Since then, Rose has won £10,000 to invest in her business. She's moved out of her workshop in her parents kitchen and taken the plunge into the global cosmetics market that is worth billions.
Jaden Ashman, from Essex, has taken gaming to a new another level. Aged 15, Jaden has just won nearly £1 million after scooping second place in the "duos" competition at the Fortnite Worldcup in New York. This has resulted in him signing a £50k a year contract with e-sports company Lazarus. He was among 100 Fortnite players who qualified for the game’s first ever World Cup, out of a staggering 40 million players worldwide that applied.
19-year-old, Akshay Ruparelia, is Britain's 'youngest millionaire' after selling houses during his school lunchbreaks. He juggled homework and negotiating property deals but still managed to get three A*s and 2 As at A Level. Ruparelia discovered his first deal was a major success when checking his phone during break in the playground. His company Doorsteps.co.uk, was recently valued at £12 million.
Vlogger, Alfie Deyes, uploaded his first video onto YouTube when he was just 15 and has been building his online empire since. This now consists of 11 million subscribers on YouTube, 5.4 million Twitter followers and 4.3 million on Instagram. At aged 25, he has a wealth of international brand tie-ins, sponsorship deals, promotional gigs, book deals and the beginnings of a property empire.