At the start of this project, I emailed 127 college professors from universities around the world with only 83 of them responding. They all told me that what I was trying accomplish couldn't be done. Some told me to be "realistic", while others simply said that, "I was too young to learn such an advanced topic on my own". What I wanted to do was create an iPhone application that had never been created before and I thought that I needed the approval of someone else to do so. I was very wrong.
I later read the stories of Cason Crane and Malala Yousafzai and truly became inspired. While I didn't innately understand their struggles, I understood stood them by spirit because we all want to accomplish what others told us that we couldn't do. So, in three days, I taught myself computer programming and created the app in the following week.
As an activist for the dreamer, I now know that my purpose in the world is to be used to inspire others. After receiving a letter from a young boy who had seen my video, I understood my worth. He told me that he'd never seen anyone who was looked like me in the tech world and believed more in himself because he could finally identify with someone. I would have never guessed that I could inspire someone else.
As I look forward to what I hope is a long and successful career, I will never forget those words. When I was younger I always looked up to Will Smith because he represented possibility. From his interviews with Charlie Rose and Tavis Smiley, he often spoke about this idea that working hard and being "unrealistic" could create significant change in your world. And now that I've experienced it myself, I want to share it. There's truly no reason to have a Plan B because it only distracts from Plan A. Because of this, I never want people to give up on their dreams. I know I didn't.
Tywan Wade's new app, Shortly, is available for download today on the Apple App Store. Read more about him in Impossible Dreams: The Story of Discovering My Superpowers.