Top five Millennial heroes

The Millennial generation has seen many changes. During this era, society has broken racial barriers, reached towards gender equality, and has drastically progressed in the world of technology. It is because of some key members of society that we have been able to change so drastically in such a short amount of time. Steve Jobs left his mark on the world before his untimely death in 2011. Jobs was responsible for co-founding the electronics giant, Apple. He was the genius behind the iPhone, iPad, and the Mac. Jobs gave technology a “coolness” factor, turning utilitarian electronics into sleek items that were more popular among the youth. He played a major role in making technology more accessible and attractive to the masses.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”

 –Steve Jobs, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal, 1993.

Oprah Winfrey overcame both gender and racial barriers by becoming one of the most influential and wealthiest black women in the world today. In 2008, she aided in the Obama campaign as one of his main benefactors.  She was able to remain relevant by transforming her show over the years, focusing in on issues that affected society at the time. Oprah went on to become one of our nation’s most powerful women, and for many years was the only African American billionaire in the world. She has turned her name into a global brand, with her own show, channel, magazine, and online shopping site.

“What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people’s lives.”

-Oprah Winfrey, in an interview with the Academy of Achievement, 2010.

Shepard Fairey emerged from the underground world of graffiti, and his art was mostly popular amongst the skateboarding subculture. His first mainstream success came from a drawing entitled “Andre the Giant has a Posse,” which featured a profile of the late entertainer. The meaning behind the Obey movement was to open people's eyes to the fact that we were so obedient to higher powers without ever questioning them.  In 2008, Fairey drew a portrait of President Barack Obama, captioned “Hope.”  The portrait went on to be a symbol of the Obama term.

“It is only possible for society to evolve in a positive direction with a healthy balance of honoring both needs of the individual, and promoting basic human rights and equality of the collective.”

-Shepard Fairey, in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post, November 2011.

Lady Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angeline Germanotta, came into the music industry and quickly took the world by storm. She is currently the most popular person on Twitter, with over 24 million followers. Her loyal fans, which she has nicknamed “Little Monsters,” have fueled her rapid rise to fame. Gaga used her music to spread awareness on global issues such as immigration, gender equality, and gay rights. She started her own foundation called “The Born This Way Foundation,” which promoted individuality and strived to eliminate intolerance.

“Every bit of me is devoted to love and art. And I aspire to try to be a teacher to my young fans who feel just like I felt when I was younger. I just felt like a freak. I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm trying to liberate them, I want to free them of their fears and make them feel that they can make their own space in the world.”

-Lady Gaga, during a 20/20 interview, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg's billion dollar social networking site known as Facebook has been one of the only of its kind that has managed to stick around, while others like MySpace and Friendster have ultimately phased out. Through Facebook, Zuckerberg has allowed users to keep connected with friends and family all over the world, in an easier fashion. Facebook had an “it” factor that allowed it to be attractive to its users by constantly progressing and updating to suit the demands of a tech-savvy generation.

“When you give everyone a voice and give people power, the system usually ends up in a really good place.”

-Mark Zuckerberg, during an ABC interview with Diane Sawyer, 2010