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inspire youth March 2011

Dan Atkins

Social Entrepreneur & Founder of Inspire Youth

Sabirul Islam

A Young Entrepeneur with a Global Vision

The Popular Kids By Name & By Label

Sasha Jackson

Takes on Hollywood and Wins

Unique Muzic

The Power of Music

Creating the Dream Behind every dream lies a team of amazing people who dedicate their time, energy and more fully their passion to the cause. We owe tremendous gratitude to the following individuals and without them our vision could not come to life. Founder of Inspire Youth Daniel Atkins Chief Editor and Project Manager Yolanda Solo Project Manager for Intensify Youth Email: Assistant Editors Daniel Atkins Nicole Gerlis Contributors Yolanda Solo Shannon Ferguson Chona Fernandez Lucia Marginean Images and Photography Michael Ko and Ben Crawford Advertising Sales Intensify Youth 122 Ealing Village London, W5 2EB United Kingdom T. +44 (0) 203 086 8346 E.

2 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

Image by Wonderlane

Editorial Welcome to the first issue of Inspire Youth Magazine Welcome to the first edition of Inspire Youth magazine founded by Dan Atkins, a teacher whose passion for youth development knows no limits. The magazine is just one of the many projects the Intensify Youth organisation has in the pipeline that will change the way young people look at the world.

Our projects are aimed to make a massive impact in young people’s lives and as a result we need people like you to get involved! We believe that everyone has the responsibility to motivate the youth of today to believe in themselves and be the best that they can be. They are the future and deserve to start their life journey full of hope and passion. Sadly, this is often not the case. Too often while they have the potential to do what they love, lack of self-confidence, and the negativity of others, stops them from achieving the success they deserve. Each edition of Inspire Youth will feature those who have defied attempts to stop them from following their dreams and in some cases, overcome huge obstacles to get there. Read the stories and be inspired by the success they have achieved. Discover how they reached their goals and who helped them to do it. It is humbling and inspiring to read these stories and we look forward to featuring many more young people from around the world.

Dan Atkins / President

3 inspire youth magazine • march 2011


Daniel Atkins 06

Sasha Jackson 26

3 Editorial


Sasha Jackson

4 Contents


The Popular Kids


Daniel Atkins


Michael Blair Ko


Andre Carter


You Got Papped


Unique Muzic


Our Projects


Sabirul Islam

4 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

Sabirul Islam 19

Unique Muzic 14

Can You Help? Do you have a story to tell or do you know a young person who could be an inspiration to others? Let us know and see the story in the next edition of Inspire Youth magazine!

5 inspire youth magazine • march 2011


Daniel Atkins Social Entrepreneur and Global Visionary Dan Atkins, Managing Director at Intensify Youth, is a 30-year old London-based Social Entrepreneur. His company is developing programmes that educate and inspire young people to become the best person they can be. Today’s educational system, he says, fails to give students the one thing they need most: the tools to create a successful mindset.

What do you want to be in life?

people transform their lives, to take

and then we aim to take this worldwide.

responsibility for their actions and to

Schools have all the resources needed

I want to be known as the founder

have the right mindset to help them

yet this has never been done in the UK.

and the pioneer of a massive change

achieve whatever it is they want in life.

Our goal is to get behind and support

in youth development. Where we

Our core programmes are the:

the more creatively driven youths in

encourage and engage young people

high schools.

to believe in themselves and to aspire

Superhero Mindset – is where my

towards success. Where we bring in a

passion lies. I believe the education

Inspire Magazine – this is a unique

group of experts to develop and deliver

system is failing to teach young people

project and an incredible opportunity

programmes and projects that young

how to grow up with the right mindset

to highlight inspirational young people.

people want and need.

for success. The Superhero Mindset

Not nearly enough of this occurs yet

teaches youths the essential inter and

with the power of the internet it is easy

What are you working on at the

intra-personal skills that are VITAL to

to do. Young people need role models

moment / what is your dream?

life in general. We’ve brought in a team

to look up to and admire and that is the

of experts and developed an incredibly

very reason for the magazine. Again we

A series of programmes to help young

beneficial 14 day programme that we’ve

have used the internet as our medium

people grow up with the right mindset

delivered online in order to be able to

to ensure we can share our vision and

and then provide them the skills,

scale is around the world.

our dream with as many people as

tools, knowledge and the stepping


stones that they need in order to

High School Superstar – is an online

reach whatever level of success they

talent competition for every High School

Teen-Trepreneur Trilogy – an

desire. Our whole goal is to help young

and College in the United Kingdom first,

entrepreneur education series

6 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

developed by an amazing 20 year old

What is your vision of empowering

I don’t think young people see the

Sabirul Islam. We’re helping Sabirul

young people?

amount of hard work and dedication

leverage the internet in order to be

it takes in order to reach that level

able to get Enterprise education in to

Our vision is and has always been to

of success. One thing that needs to

the hands of EVERYONE on the planet.

harness the power of technology to get

be highlighted is that all of us have

When we met Sabirul we were struck

the skills, tools and mindset of personal

differing levels of success. Not everyone

at the sheer enthusiasm, the drive and

development into the hands of young

wants to bend the ball like Beckham,

the mindset that this incredible young

people from a very early age and then

sing like an angel, or be the next Sir

man holds. Already he is an inspiration

provide them the action steps for them

Richard Branson, but what’s important

to many people around the world and

to take in order to reach whatever level

for us is that they become the best

Intensify Youth is behind him and his

of success they desire.

person that they can be.

Once they have the right mindset then

How long have you been doing this?

vision to inspire1million people all around the world.

young people will be able to be, do, have Inspire1million – this is the dream, this

and achieve anything they want in life.

We’ve been developing and perfect the

is our goal and our mission. My mission

Then with the action steps they will

programmes over the last 24 months in

has always been to inspire young

know what they need to do in order to

order to ensure that they are extremely

people. As a teacher my focus is not on

achieve their life goals.

beneficial to young people.

knowledge, I’m more focussed on

Our aim is to interview as many people

What made you start?

helping them believe in themselves, to

as possible that have reached the top of

raise their aspirations and to become

their fields in order to teach the young

There have been a couple of incidents

better people. I believe not nearly

people their “Superhero Mindset” and

that have really stuck in my mind, both

enough focus is developing them as

then highlight the action steps that

involved knives.

human beings in schools, yet in doing

they took in order to reach the level of

so we see MASSIVE change.

success that they created.

teaching young adolescents curriculum

I was a very talented cricket player when I was younger and made all the

7 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

representative sides and had the talent

I stumbled across the tools of personal

stories of people overcoming adversity

to progress to the top level. However

development that my life started

and I’m amazed by people like Roger

one day before a very important game

meaning something. I found direction

Federer, or the Williams girls who reach

I made a BAD decision and in that slip

and I found what my TRUE passion was,

the top of their fields and stay there for

second my life would change forever.

and that’s helping young people develop

years on end.

See my parents had gone away and

into amazing young adults. What’s your motivation to continue

instead of getting an early night we

with it?

decided to have a party, which lead

I’m now working around the clock and

to a lot of drinking. We then went to

have been for the last couple of years

another party of a rival school. I stood

as a full time teacher in London and

I love working with and inspiring young

up for a mate that was being an idiot;

working on my mindset and creating

people. Seeing them grow, develop

the situation got out of control and

the projects that we’re launching in

and achieve success is amazing. As

out came a knife. I was lucky, see had

the beginning of 2011. As this is my

teachers and educators we have a

he been standing a foot closer to me

passion and my true core values I find

massive opportunity to leave a long and

it wouldn’t have gone through my

the strength to do so, to overcome any

lasting impact on their lives, and that’s

hand it would’ve gone through my

obstacles that are in my way, and to

what I want to be known for.

chest... and that’s why in essence I

continue taking a step or 2 each day

developed the Superhero Mindset, to

towards the end goal.

How much time do you spend developing your skill / working towards

ensure that young people don’t follow in my footsteps, to not make the same

2011 is an amazing year and I can’t

mistakes as I did.

wait to share our message with the

your dream?

world and create a global shift in young

24/7. That’s the main thing, there’s

I deeply regret making that one

people’s paradigms...they need it...

an awesome quote from Will Smith

decision that cost me the potential

that’s for sure!

about his unbelievable work ethic that

of an international cricket career. But without that then we wouldn’t have

says “I’ve never really viewed myself How did you get through them?

created Intensify Youth and any of the

as particularly talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. You

phenomenal programmes that we’ve

I think the main thing is Belief. Belief

know, while the other guy’s sleeping, I’m

developed. I made a bad decision, have

that you’re on the right path. Belief in

working. While the other guys’ eating,

learnt to deal with it, and have now

yourself that you know what you’re

I’m working. The only thing that I see

turned my passion towards youth

doing. Belief that there’s light at the

that is distinctly different about me is:


end of the tunnel and belief that you

I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. You

CAN be, do, have and achieve anything it

might have more talent than me; you

is you want in life.

might be smarter than me. But if we

What obstacles did you have to overcome along the way?

get on a treadmill together, there’s two Also finding partners and people who

things: you’re getting off first, or I’m

There is always the voice in the back

can help and support your dreams. I

gonna die. It’s really that simple”. .

of your head saying negative things.

met my business partner Mike Muller

There will ALWAYS be things that life

on a course in Hawaii and since then

To me that’s what it’s all about. I work

throws at you that challenge you and

we’ve come on leaps and bounds.

around the clock 7 days a week, why,

make you question yourself, but with

Recently we’ve bought in people into

because it’s my passion and why,

the right Mindset you can control these,

specific roles in Intensify. This has been

because young people need it.

even learn to harness them in order to

amazing as it allows me to focus on

create the passion, the desire, and the

what’s most important and essential

What’s the best moment you’ve had so

burning fire that leads you and drives

for me to work on to push the projects


you towards success.

forward. The best is really the simplest and it’s a

I left New Zealand nearly 10 years

My inspiration comes from people

progression. It’s seeing everything come

ago and had spent most of that time

who are self made. The Bransons,

to light. To see it go from an idea, to

drifting, taking the easy option and

Oprah, sports stars like Beckham and

conception, to actual physical products

doing everything for myself without

those that have created success out

and really coming to life is brilliant.

worrying about other people and that

of nothing. I love hearing about new

Now to be able to travel the world

was getting me nowhere. It wasn’t until

ventures succeeding beyond belief,

sharing our dreams and our message,

8 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

to interview inspirational youth and be

My inspiration came from people like

within. It might sound big headed or

able to connect with global experts is

Sir Richard Branson, Justin Herald and

arrogant but is an interesting position

phenomenal. 2011 is an amazing year

Robert Kiyosaki. I’m also becoming

to be in. That’s what I guess the whole

and the world will hear a LOT of things

more and more inspired by young

Superhero Mindset aims to instil. When

from Intensify!

people who create things and have

you’re living true to your core values

incredible vision. Sabirul Islam and the

and beliefs and when you find your

boys from Unique Muzic are amazing

true purpose you start looking within

How did that make you feel?

young people who we’re helping in any

for inspiration rather than seeking it

AWESOME, phenomenal and really

way possible to help them achieve their

from others. We are on the cusp of

humble at the same time. The more you


something incredible and we really

learn, the more you connect the more

are inspired at being the pioneers of

you realise that things really do happen

Why, because their dream is to help and

for a reason. To be able to connect with

inspire other young people to do the

and support so many inspirational

same. I’m motivated by people like that

For anyone who wants to follow in your

people is truly a blessing and to be

and I am constantly surrounding myself

footsteps what would you tell them?

able to share it with the world is the

with people and situations where I can

greatest acknowledgement one could

do this. It’s inspirational.

ever ask for. Who do you look up to? And Why?

something revolutionary for the world.

To believe. To be dedicated and to trust yourself and your ability. Commitment

Who is / was your greatest source of

comes to mind as well. In order to

inspiration? And Why?

reach the top or become the best you can be does take time and effort.

I look up to people who have made it

This is an interesting one, as the

Learn from the best, read their books,

by themselves. I look up to people that

more we progress with Intensify and

watch their videos and reward yourself

have reached the top of their fields.

our projects the more I’m inspired

with the Superhero Mindset. Take

9 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

one step towards your goals daily and

it’s fantastic having him as part of the

themselves and aspiring for success in

you will get there. Live every moment

Superhero Mindset programme.

whatever it is they want in life.

thankful for who you are and who

Why do you think it’s important

you’re becoming. Challenge yourself to

for young people to grow up with a

How are you working with Intensify at

become a better you. Look for the best

Superhero Mindset?

the moment?

Ask the right questions and get the

Because when they grow up with the

I am Intensify. Three years ago Mike

right answers and ALWAYS treat other

right mindset then they will believe

Muller – cofounder of Intensify - and

people with utmost respect.

that they CAN achieve the life of their

I sat down in an infinity pool on a

in people and always in the situation.

dreams. They will be more focussed,

lovely hotel in Hawaii. This is where we

What do you think of the Superhero

be able to overcome any obstacles

began talking about our dreams and

Mindset Programme?

life throws them and really know and

our vision. From that moment we both

understand what they need to do in

realised that in order to be playing a

order to life the life of their dreams.

bigger game we needed to join forces

The Superhero Mindset Programme is a brilliant programme that we created

and really push and challenge each

to help young people grow up with the

Having gone through the Programme

other to be greater people. Since then

right mindset. We’ve taken the key

what’s the most important thing you

we’ve formed an amazing partnership

concepts of personal development and

could share with young people?

and continually work on developing

created a practical based programme

exciting and revolutionary projects to

for young people to follow. The key

To go through and complete the

inspire the masses. It’s a pleasure to

concepts are so simple yet profound

programme. There are so many

be leading projects that have such an

and instilling them in young people will

incredibly powerful life lessons in

impact on tomorrow’s future leaders,

create massive change in their lives.

it. Things that will make a MASSIVE

educators, entrepreneurs and people.

What was your favourite part of the

impact in your life. We could sell the

The more people we can share our

Superhero Mindset Programme?

programme for hundreds or thousands

dreams with the better.

Developing the project to a point where

of dollars, but for us this project

we had all the content and then finding

isn’t about making money. It’s about

What do the following 10 letters say: I

Andre “Coach” Carter to present it.

instilling these essential life skills into

M P O S S I B L E?

He’s a phenomenal individual who I

the hands of EVERY young person on

firmly believe was put on this planet to

the planet. Why? Because we believe in

inspire young people. His passion and

young people and want to help EVERY

his sincerity are second to none and

single one of them grow up believing in

I’m Possible!!!

Today’s young generation needs role models, someone to look up to and admire. But first, young people must develop a powerful mindset that allows them to become successful, no matter the challenges around them. This is what Intensify aims to do: to create a roadmap from where they are right now and where they want to get. For more in-depth information about the Intensify Youth programmes and how you can get involved, please visit: Website: Facebook Profile:

Facebook Pages:


10 inspire youth magazine • march 2011


Andre Carter The Superhero Trainer Andre A. Carter is a man who is passionate about motivating young people. As the presenter for the Superhero Mindset programme he plays a vital role in changing the mindset of the youth who watch it and are inspired by it. Andre describes himself as “A father of two wonderful children and a dreamer. A divine creation like everyone and everything else on the planet. I am a ball of pure energy defined in a body of my choosing.” His energy and passion for youth development make him an ambassador for lasting change. What is your dream?

coaching, counselor, or leadership role.

Not nearly as much time as I should.

When I thought about how to do what

Funny thing is it’s such a part of me I

I have many dreams. My largest dream

I most loved in life teaching personal

am always developing something or

is of a world where our focus is on

development from the stage was the

coaching someone. Even now I put a

learning and creation. For those that

most perfect fit for me.

good 3-4 hours a week towards my

know of Gene Roddenberry and the Star Trek saga, I dream of a world like Earth

skills. That’s been slowly increasing. How long have you been doing it?

in Star Trek. People were focused on

This year I’ll be on stage fully which means more like 3-4 hours a day will

what they loved doing and creating and

Acting, in some way or another for

be dedicated to developing my skill and

they were fully supported in exploring

my entire life. Coaching, counseling,

creating my vision.

the full limits of those loves. It’s

and leading in some form or another

important to me more so today because

since 6th grade, that’s when I was

What is the best moment you have had

of my children.

`officially´ the ´class psychologist´.

so far?

It’s funny, I remember a lot of friends How did you get into personal

saying “You have problems, go talk to

Hearing my words and training from my

development, training and speaking?

Andre.” Actively speaking in the world

daughter and realizing it was not just

of personal development began 4 years

repeated, the words were understood. It

ago with Frontier Trainings.

made me feel confident that she will be

I’ve always loved a stage even as a little boy. So, being in front of people is

one of the people who creates her world

something that I just enjoy. However,

How long do you spend developing your

based on what she loves doing, not what

acting was never quite enough. I

skill/working towards your dream?

circumstances hand her.

have also always found myself in a 12 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

What did you have to overcome along the way? Poverty at many stages of my life. The greatest one though is Self Discipline, doing what must be done, when it must be done, without someone prodding me to do it. This one cost me more than anything else. I still battle it daily. Funny how it works, can’t really drop your guard on this one. It’s the basis of your habits. How did you get through them? oth are a daily battle. Poverty can strike in a moment if spending habits outpace financial growth. Self discipline can be lost by just one too many days of “there’s always tomorrow”. The biggest tool for getting through them has been

dreams, goals, and beliefs. It supports

for the live events around the world

knowledge. Learning how to think and

young people in developing their

to begin. Seeing the shift in the next

to manage my thoughts and actions.

dreams and bringing them to reality.


Learning about managing myself.

Unfortunately, our society often crushes the dreams of the young by focusing on

What’s the most important thing you

What advice would you give someone

lack, violence, and our current limits of

could share with young people?

who wants to follow in your footsteps?

the mind and science.

Get to know yourself and be your own

Having a Superhero Mindset, shifts

and do something phenomenal! You

best friend. If you do that you will

the focus to what can be created and

may be part of a large team or out on

always go after what you love and hold

reminds those with it at a deep level

your own, but you have some amazing

yourself to a higher standard. Realize

that thoughts are things and so far

to contribute.

that life truly is short and that the best

nearly everything that can be dreamed

way to live is doing what you love every

has been created. Just look at airplanes,

What do the letters IMPOSSIBLE mean


submarines, and wireless technology

to you?

You are here on this planet to create

for the physical items. Why do you think it’s important

Without hesitation, they say I’m

for young people to grow up with a

What was your favourite part of the

Possible! Meaning anything I focus my

Superhero Mindset?

Superhero Mindset Programme?

energies on can be achieved!

The Superhero Mindset protects visions,

Working on the training. I cannot wait

Remember the name - Andre Carter. This is one man who is going to revolutionize the way that young people see the world and the opportunities it holds for them. Andre Carter’s Contact Details Website: Email: Tel: +1 858-602-6109 Location: San Diego, CA

13 inspire youth magazine • march 2011


Unique Muzic The Message Behind Their Music We all know there is some trait that all successful individuals have in common; unfortunately it’s not something we’re taught in our traditional schooling. With most kids it’s been a hit or miss concept to find the answers that create the changes they want in their life – until now; The Superhero Mindset Programme is completely changing how young adults view their future. By the end of the programme, they clearly see obstacles but unlike most kids, they look at them differently; they know those obstacles can be eliminated and they now have the mindset to push forward.

At a young age Ice and Spynel took

Never Give Up because I’m Possible!

comfort in music; the beats, the sounds

will accept that for what it is; kids today are too easily convinced that they lack

and melody’s all formed a universal

According to Ice and Spynel, becoming

the capacity to make their dreams come

language that spoke loudly but were

successful is not something you simply


just an adventure; these artists have

sit and daydream about; you pursue

turned that adventure into a journey.

it and create it. “It’s so amazing that

Many kids struggle to find their own

Ice and Spynel bring you creative verses,

society will labor under the false

voice during their youth, bearing their

highlighted with confident tones all

assumptions that we must live our lives

parents architectural path on life which

wrapped up with a determined mantra;

less than what it could be…and most

consist of attending a university, career

14 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

then family. Yet, Ice and Spynel, aka

and “you can’t do this or that”, both

Spynel: When I was about 6 years old

Ihsan Ahmed and Francis Moronda

artists landed in the recording studios,

I started listening to old reggae songs

realized that picture wasn’t fulfilling.

signed new artists and most currently,

like Redrat, Beenie man, Buju Banton

That all changed by simply changing

performed live in front of the likes of

and also Michael Jackson songs. I used

how they thought about success and

Katie Price, Simon Webb and more.

to practice and sing all the verses and I

how to attain it.

So we ask ourselves? What was that

loved that feeling that music gave me;

turning point? What gave these artists

I realized that I wanted to be a singer

A quick snapshot of their resume;

the conviction and motivation that

and rapper when I got older.

Actors, Lyricist, Singers, Songwriters,

helped them become such a success in

and Producers, and its obvious they are

a short time?

versatile and motivated to put in the work that’s demanded for this type of

Ice: For me it was the same; I just keep writing lyrics, practicing my singing and

How Did They Do It?

style with Spynel.

How did you two get into the Music and

How did you progress from practicing

Entertainment Industry?

verses to laying down tracks?

success. After years of negative undertones that shrieked of “that’s impossible” 15 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

Spynel: About 2002, I started producing

progressing and didn’t know how to

any obstacle in your way. I think that’s

my own beats/instrumentals. Even

move to the next level. Everything

one of the things you have to master –

though my voice wasn’t mature enough

changed for me when I became involved

clearing away that negative and moving

yet, I still recorded over the music. That

with Intensify Youth.


was motivating to me; moving forward, learning and progressing. It just made

How involved are you in developing

Spynel: For me, my turning point was

me even more serious about music.

your skill and working towards your

Intensify Youth. They showed me how


to obtain anything you want in life, no

Ice: I was writing the lyrics and

matter what. I like that part – no matter

practicing the beats; perfecting it and

Spynel/Ice: We spend every free

what stands in your way, you are able

we both would lay down tracks.

moment in practicing and doing

to overcome and still attain your goals.

something to further our goals. What type of obstacles did you have to

Everything from writing lyrics to

What do you think of the Superhero

overcome along the way?

practicing to marketing and publicity;

Mindset Programme?

it’s non-stop. Ice/Spynel: the worst obstacle was

Spynel: I think the superhero mindset

no one would identify with what we

Spynel: And when I reflect back, I never

is great program because it has opened

wanted; we didn’t want the typical 9 to

took any signing lessons or keyboard

up my mind with the way I think, It has

5 or to attend a university then on to

lessons or recording studio lessons and

taught me to stay positive about my life

having a family. We didn’t accept that

yet, just from my drive and conviction

which has been very helpful and which

standard blueprint because it wasn’t

to know the music industry I have

has elevated me to the stage where I

what made us happy. But telling your

learned how to do all of those things

am now, It has opened up new channels

family and even some friends of the

on my own. And I set a goal – I practice

of thinking and dealing with situations

ideas you have and only receiving

a minimum of 5 hours every day on my

that I used to find difficult to cope with.

discouragement and criticism takes

music. Ice: The impact of the programme

a toll on your psyche. When you’re bombarded with that negative way of

What’s the best moment you’ve had so

is tremendous; this programme is

thinking it can weigh heavily on your


teaching young people how to overcome

mind and you start to believe it.

obstacles; and everyone has obstacles Spynel: The best moment I’ve had so

but how we deal with them makes all

So how did you get through the

far is when we supported Gran Master

the difference. So here’s a programme

obstacles? What motivated you to

Flash and The Furious 5 and Kurtis

that you can apply the techniques in the

strive for what you wanted instead of

Blow last year at Jazz Café in London;

real world and see it working.

that standard blueprint?

Amazing - this was one of the best moments ever; to be able to support

What was your favourite part of the

Ice: I took part in the Superhero Mindset

the grandfathers of Hip-Hop. Also we

Superhero Mindset Programme?

Programme and it completely changed

went to Bloodlust last year, doing a

how I saw life. It helped me to channel

live performance in front of celebrities

Spynel: “Think Positive and You’ll Get

all my thoughts and attention to focus

such as Simon Webb from Blue, Katie

Positive Back” this is one of the best

on success and what I had to do to

Price and many more. And I cannot

part because it works time after time

accomplish attaining a successful life.

forget Carnival! Huge, one of the best

and if you surround yourself with the

Before the program, I would hear “you

moments of my life… being on stage

things you want you will end up getting

can’t do this…, this won’t work, and that

and doing what I love doing best

them .

won’t work.“ You wind up taking a step

and having the chance to spread my

back and considering all that negativity.

message to the masses

But after the program, I listened to

Ice: My favourite part is applying what I’ve learned to goals in my life. I look

negativity and kept on my path to

Reflecting back, what was your turning

back at a chapter and, Wow, I remember

success – the negativity didn’t faze me

point? What helped you become a

that. Each time it feels great, it’s a



great motivator knowing that you’re

Spynel: For me, I kept up with my music;

Ice: The Superhero Mindset Programme

listening to the words of other artists

was my defining moment; it helped me

became my motivation but I still wasn’t

focus on my goals and how to overcome

progressing and you’ve overcome an

16 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

obstacle. Why do you think it’s important

for young people to grow up with a

The most important thing that I

Ice/Spynel: For most people, that word

Superhero Mindset?

can share with anyone out there in

means just as it seems – impossible. A

the world is that once you take the

negative connotation that in the worse

Spynel: It’s so important for young

Superhero Mindset your life will never

way means it cannot happen; The

people to grow up with a Superhero

be the same again; it will transform

Superhero Mindset and Intensify Youth

Mindset because nowadays they do not

you, boost you, motivate you to your

show the true meaning of that word;

have the right mindset for them to be

full potential. Having gone through the

It’s not IMPOSSIBLE – It’s really I’M

able to achieve their dreams or goals; if

programme myself the most important


they were given the Superhero mindset

thing is to fully pay attention to the

I’m certain it will transform their lives

message this programme provides to

Ice and Spynel are quick to share that

for the better.

you and put everything you been taught

the Inspire programme reveals that we

into practice and you will see amazing

all fall into that dark negative space and


we have the power to rejuvenate and

Ice: You never want younger impressionable people to follow the

revive our lives, regardless of how bad

negative patterns in life. Everyone

How are you working with Intensify at

should want to only manifest positive

the moment?

outcomes in life and if I had this

the minor setback is. Inspire Youth and the Superhero

program earlier, it would have saved me

I am signed to Intensify Records as an

Mindset Programme have transformed

tremendous time and trouble. I can’t

artist and I’m also working with them

these artists’ lives. With some stellar

imagine how much further I would be

on few projects like The inspire1million,

performances and reviews, I can’t wait

if I had started using the Superhero

where our goal is to inspire a million

to see how these bright young minds

Mindset Programme earlier in life.

young people all around the world

unleash more passion and build upon

through music and public speaking.

their successful paths.

Having gone through the Programme what’s the most important thing you

And lastly, I have to ask the importance

could share with young people?

that surrounds the word IMPOSSIBLE;


Unique Muzic Contact Details Official Site:

Facebook Profile:

Facebook Pages:


17 inspire youth magazine • march 2011


Sabirul Islam Motivational Entrepreneur Sabirul Islam is a 20-year old who has already accomplished more than most people will manage to do in a lifetime. Sabirul is CEO and Founder of ‘The World at Your Feet’ & ‘Teen-Trepreneur.’ His vision has already touched the lives of young people all over the world and he is helping to create a new generation of young entrepreneurs.

What do you want to be in life?

Feet, it follows a vision to ‘inspire,

Funny story...I never thought I’d

educate & provide opportunities’ for

become an entrepreneur but having

I always believe success is about

ordinary young people to become

seen my cousin set up his first business

exploiting all angles that is available in

extraordinary individuals.

at the age of 14, I thought that was

a certain industry. I’ve always wanted

extraordinary. I’ve never seen a person

to be a successful entrepreneur, with

I want to develop an empire that

so young become a businessman! So,

many titles beside my name. I currently

directs budding young entrepreneurs

I decided that the best thing to do was

am a young entrepreneur, author,

from all around the world to a single

to ask whether I can work for him. I was

motivational speaker and creator of the

platform, where they are able to learn

only 13 at the time. He gave me a job

Teen-Trepreneur board game...So it is

about entrepreneurship, express their

instantly, and I had the role of designing

starting to add up!

ideas, gain support both by mentoring

the calendars for teachers which was

and financial backing and put them on

his business idea. However, I took the

What are you working on at the

course to achieve something special.

fact that he was my cousin for granted

moment / what is your dream?

To be able to become ‘the platform’

and 2 weeks later got fired!

for young entrepreneurs to succeed, I’ve always believed in empowering

would be a dream come true...they

I really believe that it’s the two

youth around the world. To be able to

will no longer say that they are young

moments which really opened the doors

inspire a young person that anything

entrepreneurs but ‘Teen-Trepreneurs.’

for me to become an entrepreneur

is possible to achieve in life and to

Which will surely leave a legacy!

myself. Firstly, that it’s possible to run

actually see them take your advice and go make it happen, is remarkable! Which is why with The World at Your 19 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

a company at a young age, having seen How did all this start?

my cousin do it and secondly, the fact that he fired me turned my anger into

a positive mentality to prove my cousin

of running the business! I felt like I

months and going on to sell 42,500

wrong, that he’d actually fired the most

could even retire on that money as a 14

copies of The World at Your Feet

talented young person living on Earth!

year old!

within the UK.

Having left the web design business at

The success of the book allowed me to

That’s the level of belief I had at the time!

the age of 16, and gone on to become

truly realise my dream, which is to help

So having turned 14 myself, I set up my

a junior trader for 9 months, it lead to

and inspire millions of people around

first business called ‘Veyron Technology’

a string of events where I had many

the world that anyone, anywhere can

employing six of my friends to design

young people ask me how on earth it

bring The World at Their Feet. Which

websites for both corporate and private

was possible for me to become an

is why I set up The World at Your Feet

clients! Although I ran the company

entrepreneur and an investor whilst

as a business at the age of 18, which

for only 2 years, as web design was

still at school and from a very deprived

now has 2 brands, both the ‘Sabirul

becoming too common, it was the


Islam’ brand and the ‘Teen-Trepreneur’

fact that I wanted to be a better

brand. Each offering different levels

managing director than my cousin and

This got me thinking and whilst in

of inspiration, as well as educating

to prove him wrong that sparked this

college, gave me the opportunity to

them about entrepreneurship and

opportunity to come along.

write my first book called ‘The World at

giving them the opportunity to become

Your Feet’ which aimed to inspire and

entrepreneurs and run their own

My cousin made only £60 profit in one

inject self belief into young people


whole academic year, which in fact, to

that no matter who they are or where

me felt like being a millionaire as a 13

they are from, everyone has skills and

What type of things did you have to

year old! So I wanted to make more

talent that can be used to become

overcome along the way?

money than he with all that

extraordinary. Having self published the

determination to be better than my

book after being rejected by 40

There have been many obstacles

cousin I managed to draw in corporate

publishers, it opened the door for me to

along the way, but I guess that’s what

clients from the City of London and

become a motivational speaker, having

really tells the story and attracts

made £2000 profit in the first 2 weeks

spoken at 379 events in a space of 9

a big audience. If I had gone from

20 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

somebody born and raised in a deprived

a choice of going

community to becoming an instant

to University or

millionaire, well I wouldn’t really

to carry on with

call that ‘success’ as I will have not

the freedom to

experienced journey that one day can

empower youth

tell a remarkable story.

around the world... Every single

However, having been fired at the age of

relative I had said

13, was the hardest brick wall I’ve ever

university...but I

hit in my journey. But having managed

chose not to go

it use the negative attitude around that

university and

as a means to do positive things it has

put 100% focus

made me believe that any other form

on my dream and

of failure is really easy to pick up from.

vision...And to

Everyone needs to have that sort of

date I have family

mentality in order to succeed.

members say that I made the wrong

Having written my first book, I was


rejected by 40 publishers, yet I went on to sell 42,500 copies of the book

Sometimes, you

myself! So, I always believe that a form

have to fight your

of failure or rejection is actually

own culture and

an opportunity to prove people wrong!

beliefs to be able to

me think...’wow’ why are they coming

Having turned 18, I required £20,000

become successful, and no matter what

to me for help.’ And that shows that

to produce the Teen-Trepreneur board

others around you think, if you made a

what I’ve been doing has had an effect

game, but with no one believing that it

choice in life which many have thought

on people.

had a real market, I investment £20,000

was wrong, you still be proud of that

of my own money as an 18-year old to

decision you have taken and live with

Everything I do, is because I enjoy it...

produce the game, which is now selling

no regrets. And that’s exactly why I

it not a 9 to 5 job! And that the great

across the UK, South Africa and USA

believe that becoming an entrepreneur

thing. I can minute work like a maniac

and is also used as part of the BTEC

has got me global recognition whereas,

and the next minute relax and enjoy.

Business Qualifications in over 400

with the wrong decision I’ll probably

There are no boundaries, no rule and

schools across the country!

now be in my final year of university

that what I like! Freedom!

thinking of what my next job would be... I’m sure that goes to show, that if

Even that is not guaranteed.

people around you don’t believe in you,

But the greatest of all feelings and what keeps me going is to see a person come

or your products or even your vision...

What’s your motivation to continue

back to me, and say ‘you’ve changed

As long as young have the power and

with it?

my life.’ Now, that is something beyond

mentality to believe that it will be

extraordinary! I don’t feel that no

A success, nothing or no one can or

The belief I have is really important. No

matter how much successful I become,

should hinge you from achieving your

matter what comes in my way, I know

or the money I make...nothing beats


there is always a solution. And to think

the feeling and joy I get when

I that mentality is really important.

somebody shakes my hand or gives me

There is however, something even

There are people out there who can

a call to utter the words ‘you’ve changed

greater than people telling you not

help anyone solve any difficult problem

my life.’ It often does bring tears!

do things or that you idea is not good

or situation they may face. So nothing

enough and that is yourself! Why?

worries me on that front.

How much time do you spend developing your skill / working towards

Making the right choice and going

your dream?

on to believe that the choice you made

It’s the fact that I gain personal rewards

was actually something of a blessing

from what I do that makes this really

rather than something you regretting it.

special. For me to see a young person

Like I said, there’s freedom involved in

For example, having left college at the

come to me and ask for advice or help is

what I do...depending on what projects

age of 18, I was left with

remarkable. It often makes

I’m involved with, I can one day be

21 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

working 5 minutes just to check emails

year, to give young entrepreneurs the

A person from South Africa was on a

and the next day be working a full 12

chance to access investment from

business trip in India and he picked up

hours. But it’s not like I have to do what

business angels as a means to grow

my book, bought it, read it, researched

I do...I do it because I can want and

their business.

about me and gave me a call, out of

love to! And there is a big difference

the blue! He asked whether he could

compared to being under contract

8. Teen-Trepreneur Board Game

sell hundreds of copies of my book in

where everything is a must!

Used as part of the BTEC Qualifications

Pretoria, South Africa, which I thought

in schools across the UK.

was a good enough deal.

fantastic thing...Now that I’ve launched

So my dream is to develop an empire,

However, he couldn’t manage to sell

the ‘Teen-Trepreneur’ brand it offer 8

which provides heaps of support to

many copies, so he gave his friend a

different segments to the brand. They

young people, and nurtures them to be

call, to shelve all the books in a massive

are as follows:

extraordinary. So, I believe as long as I

shopping centre in Johannesburg, and 2

There are always new ideas which is the

can empower youth around the world,

months later I receive an email from the

1. Teen-Spiration

there is no time limit to how much I’ll

guy from Johannesburg, inviting me to

Helps a person develop an ‘interest’

spend, as everyday is a new challenge

do a tour in South Africa, speaking

about entrepreneurship and gain

with new rewards!

at 13 events, in 8 days, and reaching


out to 2.5 million people. He ordered What’s the best moment you’ve had so

hundreds more copies of my book, and

2. Teen-Telligence

far? Everything I do brings moments to

board game which are now in his store

Teaches how to develop a strong

remember...but I must say my time in

in the heart of the shopping centre.

personal brand and become a key

South Africa during May 2010 has to be

person of influence.

the most memorable. Both the story in

I must say, that to have reached out to

how I landed in South Africa and how

2.5 million people in South Africa was

much of a success my tour was.

incredible and my Facebook profile

3. Teen-Ovation Teaches young people about writing

was flooded with friend requests, and

a business plan, market research,

Firstly, to explain how I landed in South

to date I just don’t have time to accept

accessing finance, and how to set up a

Africa goes back to when I was 18, and

them all!

real business.

launched my second book published by Marshall Cavendish in June 2009. My

The other great moment I must

4. Teen-Speakers

publishers sent 1000 copies of my book

mention is my time in Nigeria, as I was

A speaking agency which will have

to India, to shelve on a few book stores.

invited by the First Lady of Nigeria’s

on board 25 UK and 25 International speakers who are all young entrepreneurs under the age of 25 with exceptional stories. 5. Teen-Designers 10 young and creative web designers to help young people get started in promoting their business. 6. Teen-Publishers Will be launched later this year, to give young people the opportunity to get their books published and into book stores. 7. Teen-Gels Den Will be launched later this 22 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

first President, and the first thing I saw after stepping outside the Lagos Airport, was a massive billboard with my face on it! That made me feel like a celebrity! For anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps what would you tell them? To be something or someone who can leave a legacy in a certain field, you must first be inspired by what others within that field have done. Inspiration is the key to starting a journey. Whether you want to be a doctor, entrepreneur, pilot etc, if you are not inspired by the work of other successful doctors, entrepreneurs, pilots will find it very difficult to leave a legacy in that field. For those who want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need always be positive both mentally and in everything you do. Passionate about your work and illustrate perseverance...And of course there are people and organisations out there to help you succeed within the field of entrepreneurship...So become a Teen-Trepreneur and for sure you’ll leave a legacy! Who do you look up to? And Why? When asked this question, I always tend to respond with people I don’t look up to, and the reason being, is because everyone out there needs to pull away from the sheltered box in which the western society has created. No, I don’t look up to any celebrities but I look up to people who are not given opportunities to make their lives a success. People who are so talented, but are not able to express their true talent because of the fact that they are not given the chance too...Mainly because they must live everyday as a form of survival rather than heaps of opportunities. The fact that I’ve been writing this 23 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

the moment?

article, has given me the opportunity

I say that getting fired was one of the

to express my words, my success with

best things that has ever happened

many people...those who want to do

to me! And so have always seen

Both Intensify and I are working very

the same as me, if not even greater are

my cousin as one of my biggest

closely to run the Inspire1Million

trapped in a world where this sort of


world tour, which is a target to visit

opportunity does not reach them. So, I look up to people like them and call

20 countries within 12 months and What do you think of the Superhero

inspire, engage and transform the

Mindset Programme?

lives 1 million people around the world

them heroes! They live everyday as a

that ordinary individual can become

challenge to survive...and only the very

A fantastic programme that will

few make it to achieve their lifelong

inject belief, energy, passion and

dreams. And I believe that this is

determination into many young people

Intensify are also helping to develop

beyond extraordinary and people

across the world. The power to believe

the Teen-Trepreneur programme, which

hat make this world something

that we can all achieve greatness

will enable young people to learn all key


comes from having a positive mindset

aspects of business before setting up a

that is not scared to exploit all walks of

real company.

Who is / was your greatest source of



inspiration? And Why?

IMPOSSIBLE Yes, success is a challenge but for those

I look back to the moment I got fired by

who see challenge as an opportunity


my cousin and actually thank him for

to achieve greatness are those who


firing me!

develop the ‘superhero mindset.’


I personally think, everyone is capable


Although it may sound strange, but

and the Superhero Mindset Programme


actually, if it weren’t for him, I would not

provides the door of opportunity for


have seen entrepreneurship as a way

any to walk through and achieve their


forward for myself...nor would I have

ultimate goal.

Believes Leveraging

gone on to inspire millions of people around the world!

How are you working with Intensify at


Sabirul Islam is an incredible young man who has achieved such a lot, in such a short space of time. Not only has he achieved things for himself, his focus on young people means that millions will benefit from his projects. Sabirul´s success is an excellent example of just how far belief in yourself, determination and perseverance can take you! Sabirul Islam’s Contact Details Facebook Profile: Twitter Page:

24 inspire youth magazine • march 2011


Sasha Jackson Takes on Hollywood and Wins! Sasha Jackson is a 22 year old British actress who is making waves in Hollywood. She has only been acting professionally for three years, without the years of formal training that other actors have, yet has still succeeded in getting lead roles in one of the most competitive industries in the world. What are you working on at the

enough to be cast in a couple of


European commercials and fell in love

natural extension of you.

with acting rather than just static

It is hard to fight against the

I am currently in the stages of post

posing. From that point onwards there

stereotypical label in the industry. You

production and early publicity for the

was no looking back for me. I knew that

are very much pigeon holed simply

feature film “Blue Crush 2 “in which I

acting was what I wanted to pursue. I

for having a certain look. I think it is

play the lead role of “Dana”. Dana is

then began actively pursuing castings.

essential to show that you have talent,

a young American who is haunted by the memory of her deceased mother,

personality and determination to break How long have you been acting?

through those restrictions.

For ten years, professionally for three.

I have chosen a job that so many

who leaves Malibu behind and heads to South Africa to fullfil her mother’s dream of surfing Jefferys’ Bay. Sasha

people also want to succeed in. There

has also just filmed the pilot for sitcom

What obstacles did you have to

are so many actors chasing a few

“The Last Resort” as “Maya”, a Geo-

overcome along the way?

roles so you are constantly in a type of

Scientist who also trains dolphins.

“competition”. You have to be strong There is a huge prejudice in the industry

to not let that affect who you are, or

”I live my dream every day – being a

against people who haven’t spent years

how you relate to other actors. If you

working actress currently living in Los

in drama schools being ”taught” how

give respect I believe it will come back


to act. My belief is that you can hone

to you.

that skill if you have it, but if you do not How did you get into acting?

have that natural affinity with the craft

How did you overcome these obstacles?

then no amount of training will make I first started modelling when I was

you a good actor. It has to come from

There is simply no option for me to give

about 12 and was then fortunate

your heart so each character becomes a

up. Acting is something I love and want

26 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

to do every day for as long as possible. When you have something you love that much you will do whatever you can to keep it going. Every day I learn something new simply through the experiences I have in casting situations and in the realisation of the roles I am lucky enough to win. Rejection is part of life in this industry but you have to learn not to take it personally, that you simply do not fill the criteria that the casting professionals are seeking, you detach from roles once you have cast for them, if they come back to you, then you celebrate! I’ve been inspired by too many people to list. I’m inspired every day by people overcoming situations in their life with poise and dignity. My mum is my best friend and biggest support system. I couldn’t have done anything without her. My family and friends are wonderful, also. I am very lucky to have such an awesome support system around me to keep me grounded, focused and driven. What’s your motivation to continue with it? I want to have a voice that will be heard and recognised. I want to be involved in a lot of charity work and have the money and stability to help as many as I can. How much time do you spend developing your skill / working towards your dream? I’m not sure how to evaluate how much time is spent on my job. I can be doing nothing for two weeks then auditioning four times a day every day for 10 days. Shoots can range from 4 days to 3 months to a year. There is not set “time” being an actor. The lack of stability is something you have to adjust to very quickly. You never know 27 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

if/when your next paycheque will come

How did that make you feel?

is your inspiration?

Elated beyond belief. I paced my

My parents. My mum is the strongest

and most of the time it’s all on you as to whether it does or not.

apartment for 40mins calling their

woman I’ve ever met. She’s forever an

It’s tough but I’m 100% dedicated to

mobiles and house phone to wake them

optimist and inspires me every single

my career. If I get an audition for the

up, it was a feeling I can’t describe.

day to be a better person in every

day after (they usually come through

I was grinning from ear to ear and

way. My Grandma was a total badass

at 6.30 pm and the audition will be

shaking. It just made every trial and

all through her life and luckily both

around noon the next day-not much

tribulation SOOOO worth it. I recall

my mum and I inherited a lot of her

time to learn scripts) I drop everything, I

that feeling every time I start to doubt

qualities. My father is the reminder

become a hermit for the day/night and

myself or lose my drive in any way. It

that even when things go wrong I have

study, study, study. My career is more

puts me right back on track.

the power to turn it around. I have the

important to me, and to be honest,

intelligence and strength to make the

more fun than partying or clubbing. My

For anyone who wants to follow in your

best of every situation. He has taught

friends and loved ones fully understand

footsteps what would you tell them?

me the values I need and the sacrifices I

and support me. I guess they see it as

should make. I am truly blessed to have

at their 9am to 5pm jobs - they couldn’t

Don’t give up. Also, do it for the right

such incredible people in my life every

just walk out of the office and neither

reasons. I am not an actress because I


can I when I have an audition, no matter

want to be famous. Fame actually puts

what the time. Luckily for me, my home

me off my career. I’m a private person,

Sasha´s mindset has obviously been a

is my office!

I like watching TV, getting take away

major factor in achieving her dream

and not wearing makeup. The paparazzi

life – remember she said ”There is

What’s the best moment you’ve had so

unnerve me, but it all goes with the

simply no option for me to give up.”


territory. The most important thing to

With this unshakeable determination to

remember is to never take rejection

do what she loves, and constant action


to achieve her goal, Sasha has achieved

Booking Blue Crush 2 and waking my mum and dad up in England to tell them.

what others only dream of. Who do you look up to? And Why? Who

Find out more about Sasha by visiting her website at or join in the message boards on her IMDb (Internet Movie Database) profile at

28 inspire youth magazine • march 2011


The Popular Kids Passion For Fashion …instead of pursuing a career in numbers, Ruslan put up an online store first, with hopes of setting a trend in street wear clothing… In every beginning, there is always an idea. In every idea,

become popular at all. But for Ruslan, there was no time

there is always a vision. And in every vision, there is always

to brood in despair. Selling one item in a week was more of

a dream. Like Ruslan Latysovic, a 17 year old student of

a challenge rather than a blast. They had to redefine what

Interactive Media BTech at West London College who said, ”I

went wrong along the way. In the mean time, they could only

always had a dream of owning…a successful business.”

buy a box of t-shirts. They could not stock up as they had to adopt a new marketing strategy first.

But then, he had no idea about what kind of business he would put up. His passion was in numbers and hoped to

Now, he fondly recalls that the key to their success was just

pursue a career in accounting. Yet he saw an opportunity.

around the corner yet nobody realized until it was offered.

So he got together with his two close friends who shared

One of his colleagues who knew about web design suggested

the idea of becoming entrepreneurs like him. After a series

the creation of a website. Without much deliberation Ruslan

of brain storming, net surfing, latest trend browsing, and

agreed, so on November 1st, 2010,

deliberations, they finally agreed to create a clothing label

uk was launched. Their vision was ”to set the trend rather

called… ”The Popular Kids”.

than follow it”.

It was in the early part of 2010 when ”The Popular Kids” was

The website helped a lot. And as to date, “The Popular Kids”

conceptualized as a street wear which would always portray

have sold over 100 items with the Black and Gold Hoodie

popular kids in school; a line of products comprised mainly of

the most popular item sold. They only keep a small quantity

logo t-shirts and hoodies with graphic designs. But the first

of each line so you better grab the ones you like before

step was made on September when Ruslan and his partners

someone else does!

needed a logo for their products to be identified. Finding a supplier through extensive research, they went ahead with

The best and worst of times

their very first creation — The Popular Kids white polo-shirt. Starting a business is not an easy task. Ruslan and his Sales did not go as well as expected and the product did not 30 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

friends had to overcome the obstacles that came along

the way and the problems inherent in the process. First at or follow them at Facebook fan

stake was the limited cash at hand. Much as they wanted

pages and Youtube (Sofreshsopopular).

to, they could not order more stock. Second, the criticisms of those people who tried to pull them down rather than

Written by Chona Fernandez

support what these youths were trying to prove. Third, the differences among the partners. They all want better results and have different ideas about how to achieve this which made them argue… a lot! In the end, they did resolve the issues knowing all of them were on the same track and objective. Albeit some of the people around were negative, a handful of friends and the closest of kin were supportive. Ruslan’s dad, who also owns a business, taught him to strive, to be good in what he does and to love what he does. His mum was always there for him adn his greatest mentor, Dan Atkins of Intensify Group, motivated him to go on defy the obstacles. Asked what’s the best moment he have had so far? Ruslan answered, “…I think when we opened up an online store, on our website, and… we had our first site sale. It really felt good that we are doing it and doing it successfully.” He also felt good knowing you could still have some free time while giving your heart and soul to something worthwhile. Getting the right attitude Ruslan lives in London where the youth spend more time in the streets joining gang wars instead of worrying much for their future. While these kids are resorting to violence, he is studying Interactive Media, a two-year course that involves art skills. If you think operating an online store conflicts with his studies, the answer is definitely ”No” because Ruslan knows how to divide his time and manage it well. In five years time, he sees himself settled down, with a kid, a successful business, his own car and a house. When and how did he get the right attitude towards life? Well, aside from his caring parents, Ruslan met Dan Atkins who introduced him to the Superhero Mindset Programme. For him, it is a great inspirational programme to help people, particularly young people, improve their lives for the better. And his favourite part about it “is that, you can get your inspiration in a click of a button!” Ruslan further reiterated that no matter what others tell you, don’t look back and do your thing. ”Hard work and determination will get you wherever you want to be. Believe in yourself and everything will come true.” And he believes that after earning his diploma in BTech he could pursue his true passion — to be an accountant! For more information about “The Popular Kids”, log on to 31 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

Michael Blair Ko Photographer Michael’s passion for photography is second to none and we were struck by his idealism and genuine sincerity to use his photography to make a difference. Already he’s travelled the world in pursuit of his dream and is now combining that with opportunities through Youth With A Mission to ensure that his dream becomes a reality. Step inside the creative world of Michael Ko.

32 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

What are you working on at the moment / what is your

use etc. As a photographer I want to focus on the ocean and


photograph waves, surfing and the coastal lifestyle. I also want to travel the world and use my photography as a means

At the moment, I am working on my photography and

to connect with people from all walks of life, to learn their

videography. I have just returned from a year long trip to

stories and to share mine with them.

Cape Town, South Africa, where I was with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) doing missions work as well as studying Video

What made you get into photography and videography?

Production and Photography. Trying to find a job at this time isn’t easy, but I am sticking to passion. It is no time to be picky

I have always been fascinated with photographs and what

about the work you can get. I am taking every opportunity

I call the “Ability to stop time.” Photography has run in my

that comes my way, whether they pay or not, because I am

family for generations and my grandfather had also done

doing what I love to do and in doing that I will never have a

some freelance work for National Geographic. I have had a

boring day.

subscription to National Geographic magazine since I was born and growing up I would just marvel at the photos that

My Dream is to become a Cinematographer and a

people were taking. I loved the idea of national geographic

professional Photographer. I want to travel around the

magazine and always wanted to become a photographer for

world making the most beautiful films and taking the

the magazine one day. I think the thing that really made me

most beautiful photographs anyone has ever seen. A

start taking photographs was looking through the national

cinematographer is also known as a Director of Photography,

geographic magazines and always saying I want to be

he/she is the one that decides what the shot looks like in a

featured in that magazine. I did take a break for a while where

film; lighting, framing, what style of shot, what equipment to

I wasn’t taking it as seriously, but as I started to spend more

33 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

time around the ocean, I realized that I wanted to capture the

places to do shoots, getting my name out there, offering my

unique moments that happen at the beach or in the sea.

services, or just getting inspired.

What obstacles did you have to overcome?

What’s the best moment you’ve had so far?

One of the obstacles I had encountered over the years wasn’t

I have had so many amazing experiences as a photographer

directly affecting my photography, but they distracted me

and just returning from a year long trip to south Africa, one

from seeing that this was what I was supposed to be doing.

could imagine the stories I have. But in my photography

I have been drinking alcohol since I was about 14 years old.

school we were given the opportunity to go into a local

I never thought it really affected me much more than a

township elementary school in Cape Town . We brought the

physical level. But as I continued to drink for the next 7 years,

kids disposable cameras and taught them how to take photos

it started to infiltrate every part of my life and in doing so I

and then the next day we developed the photos for them and

lost a lot of my freedom and a lot of my drive to follow my

brought them back. It was such an amazing feeling sharing

passion. More than anything I held myself back from pursuing

my passion with others who had never even seen a camera

this any sooner. I let my surroundings dictate my attitude and

before. The smiles on the children’s faces were priceless

my attitude decided my outcome.

and so amazing. I love to spend time mentoring children and playing with them. At one point I had 3 kids on me, two

How did you get through them?

in each arm and one on my shoulders. It was at that point I realized just how precious life and that I was truly happy and

I overcame these obstacles with self motivation and

so were the kids. I hope to recreate moments like that for the

determination. Ultimately I looked myself in the mirror one

rest of my life.

day and asked myself, ”is this the life I should really be living?” Drinking and partying everyday wasn’t getting me anywhere

For anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps what would

except in debt and steps further away from my passion.

you tell them?

I write down my goals and constantly remind myself of them I

Well first of all, believe in yourself and believe in what you do,

surround myself with the right people who encourage me and

if this is something you find that you want to do for the rest

who also share the same passions and dreams as me

of your life, don’t give up.

We all have this thing called free will and no one, nothing can take that away from us. It is up to us to make the choice for our lives, for our own futures and ultimately those decisions will affect those around us. My mom was a huge support for me to get through my hard times. She has always had my back and provided me with great mentoring and I know she always has my best interest in mind and would do anything to make sure that my dreams and passions become a reality. My motivation to continue with my photography and ultimately pursue cinematography is the support that I have from family and friends. I just know in my heart and soul that this is what I am supposed to be doing and I know that I can reach millions of people with my photos and eventually with my films. I want to encourage others with their photography and help people that are serious about making this their career get started.

As soon as you hit your first ”road block” say ”thank you

Surround yourself with like minded people. Driven

• • • •

for this challenge, now move out of the way!” people. People that have been where you want to go. Never stop learning Don’t be afraid to go back to the basics. As soon as you think you know something, go back and review it. Pride will always come before the fall. Find your niche. Master your craft. Everybody Love Everybody.

Who do you look up to? And Why?

Michael Jordan – ”You’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t

Roger Federer – I am a sports enthusiast and especially

take”. love tennis and he is the true definition of a champion. He mastered his art and became the best at what he does, not just by chance, but because he has worked at it

How much time do you spend developing your skill / working


towards your dream? Who is / was your greatest source of inspiration? Right now I am putting in about 10-12 hours a day working my passion. Whether its writing goals, taking photos, scouting 34 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

My greatest source of inspiration is God. It is a beautiful world

that we live in. He is so creative and earth is God’s art piece

opportunity for millions of young men and women to take

and I am so glad to be a part of it. Photography allows me to

control of their lives.

capture his art one frame at a time. Why do you think it’s important for young people to grow up What was your experienced with the Superhero Mindset

with a Superhero Mindset?

Programme? I know that what we say about ourselves ends up being how I think the Superhero Mindset Programme is phenomenal. It

we live our lives.

is exactly what the youth today need to get motivated in such seemingly down times. We have everything at our disposal

What’s the most important thing you could share with young

it’s just a matter of speaking truth into our lives and the lives


of those around us to get things going. Believe in yourself! You have the whole world at your My favourite part of the Superhero Mindset Programme

disposal. There is no one that can give that to you or take it

is that it’s simple, easy and the fastest way to get started

away from you. Its free will and it is yours. Choose only the

towards a better life today! This is such a unique and rare

best for yourself because you deserve the best, we all do.

Michael Blair Ko’s Contact Details Website:



35 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

You Got Papped Club Life Life is for enjoying... There’s not really too much to say other than that, when you feel good and you know that you are living your life FOR YOU, you’ve got to get out there and enjoy yourself...and these people certainly are. This spread comes to you from our friends YOU GOT PAPPED in Brighton, UK. YOU GOT PAPPED showcases photographs from a whole host of festivals, events and life in general that occurs in cities all around the world. Recent nights featured here include events across London’s best venues and even on the high seas themselves! Each month You Got Papped will keep you up-to-date with what’s hot in towns near you in a specially created feature for Inspire Youth. Check out to search through thousands of photos of young people, quite simply, having a great time. PS. If you or your friends have some cool shots by all means email them to us and we’ll endeavour to include them in our next issue:


Our Projects Superhero Mindset The education system is failing to teach young people how to grow up with the right mindset for success. The Superhero Mindset teaches youths the essential inter and intra-personal skills that are VITAL to life in general. We’ve brought in a team of experts and developed an incredibly beneficial 14 day programme that we’ve delivered online in order to be able to scale is around the world. Visit and get 3 free lessons!

High School Superstar An online talent competition for every High School and College in the United Kingdom first, and then we aim to take this worldwide. Schools have all the resources needed yet this has never been done in the UK. Our goal is to get behind and support the more creatively driven youths in high schools. Visit - show the world your talent and get noticed.

Inspire Magazine This is a unique project and an incredible opportunity to highlight inspirational young people. Not nearly enough of this occurs yet with the power of the internet it is easy to do. Young people need role models to look up to and admire and that is the very reason for the magazine. Again we have used the internet as our medium to ensure we can share our vision and our dream with as many people as possible. Do you know someone inspirational? Let us know so we can feature them in the magazine.

Teen-Trepreneur Trilogy An entrepreneur education series developed by an amazing 20 year old Sabirul Islam. We’re helping Sabirul leverage the internet in order to be able to get Enterprise education in to the hands of EVERYONE on the planet. When we met Sabirul we were struck at the sheer enthusiasm, the drive and the mindset that this incredible young man holds. Already he is an inspiration to many people around the world and Intensify Youth is behind him and his vision to inspire1million people all around the world. See how you can be a Teen-Trepeneur at

Inspire1million This is the dream, this is our goal and our mission. I believe not nearly enough focus is given to developing them as human beings in schools, yet in doing so we see MASSIVE change. Help inspire millions of young people around the world at

38 inspire youth magazine • march 2011

Inspire Youth - March 2011  
Inspire Youth - March 2011  

Inspire Youth is an online ezine dedicated to shining the light on inspirational young people in order to get others believing in themselves...