Pint-Sized Phenoms: The Entrepreneurial Spirit

I suspect that most everyone who applied to college this year was a pint-sized phenom in their own way-- but especially those who made the cut at the most selective schools, which were more selective than ever this year, as I wrote about earlier this week. But you don't just have to be a bookworm to be a phenom, as this month's group of kids prove.  In fact, with an athlete, a chef, and an innovative businessman in this group, they prove that all you need is an entrepreneurial spirit.

1) Winter Vinecki- This 13-year-old is a well-rounded phenom; she's a stellar athlete, student, and entrepreneur who has already been featured in renown publications and has the support from entrepreneurial websites like  This Sunday Winter will embark on an amazing journey: Trying to be the youngest person to ever complete a full marathon on all seven continents.  Why is she doing this (other than, like her fellow Pint-Sized Phenoms, to presumably stand out when it comes time for her college application)? It's for a great cause. Winter is running to help raise awareness for prostate cancer, which took her father's life three years ago. Her nonprofit, Team Winter, has already raised $300,000 for prostate cancer research! While I'm not sure it is always safe for a pre-pubescent girl to run seven marathons, I applaud her willingness and drive to help others, borne out of her own tragedy.

2)Flynn McGarry- Another 13-year-old pint-sized phenom with a memorable name, Flynn was recently profiled in The New Yorker (you can't read the print version online, but you can read the extra about him by clicking on his name). Flynn started cooking seriously at age ten (working his way through The French Laundry Cookbook).  Now that he hosts a monthly pop-up dinner for 17-ish at his home (dubbed "Eureka") for $100 a head he's being homeschooled. Two days a week he interns at a high end restaurant in LA.  One chef declares that his pure palate (untouched by tobacco and alcohol) helps make him so great, but it's clearly a lot of hard work and sacrifice, too. I wonder how long it will be before we all get a taste of Eureka either through a high-end restaurant, a cookbook, or a reality show (or all of the above)?

3) Caine Monroy- In the past few weeks nine-year-old Caine has become an Internet sensation thanks to this short film, Caine's Aracde. Trust me, it's worth taking the ten minutes to watch!

What can you say about Caine except that he is an exceptionally imaginative, innovative, inventive, handy, and entrepreneurial kid?  Can't wait to see what he thinks up next-- beyond cardboard.

Caine, and all of the pint-sized phenoms, will have great stories to tell when it does come time for higher education (both the campus kind and the life kind). Luckily, based on his recent exploits, Caine will also have some money saved away to help afford the best, which he surely deserves.