Cork teen Ciara Judge named one of world’s most ‘outstanding young people’

24 Aug 2016

Ciara Judge and Émer Hickey at towers, image via Luke Maxwell

Global super-teen Ciara Judge has been named one of the 10 outstanding youngsters in the world, and who are we to argue?

Ciara Judge can now add her Outstanding Young Person of the World award to a list of accolades that already includes Young Scientist winner, entrepreneur and TEDxTeen speaker, among others.

Judge’s achievements are astounding and, with her work creating Germinaid Innovations alongside Émer Hickey back in 2015, as well as her myriad other achievements, a world of opportunity lies in wait.

Ciara Judge

The JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World celebrates those who show “extraordinary achievement and dedication to serving others”, with sustainability its core ethos.

Two other Irish youngsters made the final shortlist, with Judge awarded a place in the top 10 ahead of fellow Irish nominees Adam Harris and Niall Breslin.

Honouring 10 people aged under 40, Judge, who only collected her Leaving Cert results last week, is an obvious choice.

Recognised by Time magazine and Huffington Post as one of the top 25 most influential teens in the world, Judge, Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow won the top BT Young Scientist Award in 2013, and an EU equivalent and the Google Science Fair in 2014.

Germinaid, which was launched at Inspirefest in 2015, is an agricultural solutions company, and it “stems from the project that we worked on for three years, which looked at germinating seeds,” Hickey explained at the time.

“We want to capture ideas, work with them and see where they take us.”

Judge, present at Inspirefest only via the internet due to another globetrotting endeavour, was busy at MIT Launch at the time.

There she helped build PurchaseMate, an app that encourages socially-aware purchasing by sharing corporate ethical information with shoppers by easily scanning a product’s barcode.

Later, she and a group of peers launched Project Zilkr, which later merged with The Youth Corp, to encourage young people to become entrepreneurs.

She has also taken a tour of CERN in Geneva, travelled to Paris with fellow teen scientists, explored the Galapagos Islands courtesy of Google Science Fair, flown to Washington for a conference with National Geographic, and joined the first batch of Outbox executives in London.

Judge pins her success to that Young Scientist prize from 2013, saying it subsequently created the spaces in which she has flourished.

“The Young Scientist kind of changed my life,” she told us earlier this year. “We got exposed to so many opportunities that we never would have gotten if it hadn’t been for the Young Scientist.”

Now she has reached an elite level few would have thought of way back in 2013. Go Ciara.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic