Toronto's Top 20 under 20 - part 2


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Image: Skate Canada/Stephan Potopnyk

The next Patrick Chan: Nam Nguyen
age 16

Nam Nguyen, Canada’s next skating star, has been training for the world stage for 12 years. The 2014 World Junior champion says he loves skating for the country; his parents immigrated to Canada from Vietnam.

“It’s such a great honour to represent the greatest country ever, and it’s also really cool, too, at the same time.”

Nguyen spends what little off-ice time he has with his parents and his little sister, who is also a figure skater. “My parents sacrificed everything for me and my sister.”

 

The innovator: Abi Smithson
age 10

Abi Smithson set out to make sandal tan lines an accessory, rather than an unattractive side effect of summer. With help from Robert Ott from Ryerson University and David Bensadoun of the Aldo Group, the Love Sandal and heart-shaped tan line were born. 

The Dragons’ Den is this wunderkind’s next stop (to air sometime in January). The extraordinary tween claims that passion and hard work are key factors in achieving your dreams.

 

The next top model: Chloe Rogers
age 17

Chloe Rogers has been spotted showcasing collections of Canadian designers such as David Dixon and Greta Constantine. 

Rogers says she was drawn to fashion by her mother, who always told her if she was confident in herself, it would shine through in what she wears.

Her modelling career is picking up pace, but Rogers says school comes first. She will be studying photography next year in the United Kingdom. 

 

The medical researcher: Michael Liu
age 17

Michael Liu, a Grade 12 student at University of Toronto Schools, has created the foundation for an HIV test that is more efficient, faster acting and less expensive than its predecessors. This test landed him and partner Bill Jia in fourth place in the Sanofi Bio Genius Competition.

As a clinical researcher at Sunnybrook Hospital, he focused on unprecedented brain repair in Alzheimer’s patients. At St. Michael’s Hospital, he researched to improve prognoses of patients with severe brain injury in the neuro trauma ICU. 

 

The politician: Morgan Baskin
age 19

Morgan Baskin took on the Fords, John Tory and Olivia Chow in the race for mayor of Toronto. The community activist and youth worker was motivated by a disconnect between city hall and her own beliefs.

“I felt frustrated that young people were not involved in the key decisions that were affecting their futures,” she says. Baskin says she knew near the end that she wouldn’t win this time, but will she run again?

“I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about it.”

 

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