End of year list time! 2014 had its ups and downs, but if you knew where to look, some pretty inspiring things happened.

These were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to great moments that represent being yourself, standing out, and rising WAY Above the Influence.

10. Domeshift 2014
The Above the Influence team met more than a hundred teens in Springfield, Illinois and we were seriously awed by the creative and leadership abilities of everyone who attended! They took what they learned about being a positive influence and creating change all the way to their state legislators and back to their peers in school – becoming a bold voice in their communities.


9. When Emma Watson wowed in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly

“Becoming yourself is really hard and confusing, and it’s a process. I was completely the eager beaver in school, I was the girl in the front of the class who was the first person to put her hand up, and it’s often not cool to be the person that puts themself out there, and I’ve often gotten teased mercilessly, but I found that ultimately if you truly pour your heart into what you believe in — even if it makes you vulnerable — amazing things can and will happen.” – Emma Watson

8. Everything about Thomas from The Maze Runner
If you didn’t see it, put it in your queue right now! Despite being in a discombobulating circumstance, surrounded by peers and a leader who disagreed with him, Thomas stood up for himself. He took charge, followed his reason, wasn’t afraid to question things, and boldly took initiative.

7. That time that YOU shared your awesome talents with us!
Ummm… just check out all the comments on this Facebook post! Being above the influence not only means standing up for yourself, it also means being yourself and totally owning your unique abilities.

6. When the world’s smartest astrophysicist talked about the importance of being yourself

5. Katie, one of our awesome bloggers, inspired and entertained us with her post about not holding yourself back.

4. A 17-year-old won the Nobel Peace Prize!
Malala Yousafzai, activist for female education, became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in October 2014. She overcame incredible hardship, conflict, and seemingly insurmountable pressure to stand up for what was right – advocating for the education of girls around the globe.

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” – Malala Yousafzai

3. ATI Week 2014
Powerful and unique voices nationwide came together to express how they stay above the influence and what it means to them!


2. Bethany Mota built an empire out of positvity
Mota flipped the script on bullying when she turned to YouTube as an outlet for pursuing her passions, and she pretty much owned 2014! Her fashion and DIY tutorials are bursting with support and encouragement for her millions of viewers. And oh yeah, the girl can dance!

1. YOU!!
Every day you are bombarded by the media, peers and adults who tell you what to wear, what to think, and who to be, all while balancing academic and social pressures, and all the other challenges life throws at you. Believe it or not, every time you make your own informed decisions, however ordinary or important, you’re further defining yourself. We’re all works in progress – and will be for the rest of our lives! Every day is another opportunity to take charge, move forward, and rise above.

Thanks for a great 2014! See ya next year.