Shalom Life | July 04, 2014

Top 20 Under 40 - Hannah Alper

11-year-old Hannah Alper is an eco-blogger, activist, Free the Children ambassador and speaker for Me to We.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: February 28th, 2014 in Culture » Society » Interviews

Shalom Life is proud to present our 4th annual Top 20 Under 40 list. Over the next 20 days, we will showcase 20 individuals of diverse talents and backgrounds that have made a significant contribution to their field both locally and globally. From entrepreneurs to philanthropists, entertainers to doctors, this list places a spotlight on a small sampling of the spectacular, innovative, and passionate Jews that call Toronto home.

Top 20 Under 40: Hannah Alper

Age: 11

At only 11 years old, Toronto-born eco-blogger and activist Hannah Alper has accomplished more than many of us have in our adult lives.

Just a couple years ago (at age 9), she launched her blog CallMeHannah.ca to share thoughts, suggestions, and initiatives regarding the environment, animals, and social activism. Topics on her blog range from eco-friendly living and fair trade to bullying and the devastation of child labor.

In addition to writing her blog, Hannah is actively involved with various organizations and campaigns that she’s passionate about offline. She organized a shoreline cleanup in her local community, she became a World Wildlife Federation (WWF) Earth Hour Team Captain in 2013 and spoke at their Earth Hour event in Toronto, she was the official “eco-blogger” for the JUNO Awards, and was part of the team that launched Free The Children’s We Create Change campaign.

Hannah whole-heartedly believes in the motto that you must “be the change” and effectively communicates her message to kids and adults alike. She has appeared on Canada AM, The Marilyn Denis Show, APP Central, CBC’s Fresh Air, and the George Stroumboulopoulos Show.

Hannah is on Me to We’s Speakers Bureau and travels throughout North America delivering her message to students and teachers.

Hannah joined us for a conversation about her passion for the environment, her greatest accomplishments to date, her interests other than changing the world, and her plans for the future.


Shalom Life (SL): When you’re asked “what you do”, how do you normally respond?

Hannah Alper (HA): I am a blogger and blog about the environment, animals, and things and people that inspire me. I am an ambassador for Free The Children and am on Me to We’s Speakers Bureau. We Day is a movement, and it’s about the youth and teachers from across Canada (and now in the US and UK!) coming together and celebrating their local and global impacts they’ve done like collecting non-perishable items for the needy or doing fundraising for schools in Africa. Kids and teachers get inspired at We Day by hearing empowering speeches by Craig and Marc Kielburger, Spencer West, Molly Burke, Martin Luther King III, Magic Johnson, Martin Sheen and many, many others.

SL: What would you consider your greatest accomplishment to date?

HA: I think my biggest accomplishment is speaking at We Day across North America, and I’m honored to have been asked, and involved. Free The Children, Me to We, and We Day are such empowering organizations. They motivate youth to make a difference and believe that kids are the future. I was so honored when I got invited to speak in front of thousands of people at We Day. The kids there were all hungry for change, and knew that this event would be life-changing not just for me, but it’s all about them. They get to meet other kids who had so many things in common with and sometimes just knowing there’s hundreds of thousands of kids out there making a difference every day is inspiring.

SL: When you’re not working, where can we find you?

HA: You could find me at karate, I love martial arts, it helps me focus, memory and concentration, which has helped me in many ways in school. You can also find me at school, and I love learning like any other kid. If I’m not there, I’m outside!

SL: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How about 20?

HA: I see myself doing what I’m doing, having a blog about things that inspire me, working with organizations making a great difference, and hopefully continuing to share other people’s stories to inspire youth to believe they are never too young to change the world.

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