Beth Reeks

Beth Reeks

First year Physics student Beth Reeks was named one of Time magazine’s most Influential Teens of 2013. Ranked alongside Malala Yousafzai, the Afghan teenager who survived an attempted assassination to become one of the world’s most inspirational education activists, as well as global pop phenomenon Justin Beiber, Beth was honoured for a burgeoning book-writing career than began at the tender age of just 15 – something that perhaps understandably ranks amongst her proudest achievements.

She said: Finding out that I'd been listed by Time as one of their '16 Most Influential Teens of 2013' was probably my proudest professional moment – it was an incredible honour, and to be recognised amongst so many big names was very humbling.”

Raised in Newport, Wales, Beth self-published her debut novel The Kissing Booth which gone on to register 19 million online hits. She has subsequently been awarded a three book deal with top publishers, Random House.

Beth said that her age was never a hindrance to her when pursuing her dream of being an author, and that the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day of inspiring change exemplified her own philosophy on life. She said: “Inspiring change, to me, means encouraging women to pursue their dreams without worrying about being put down, or ridiculed. I was the only girl in my physics class at A Level, but why should my gender affect my enjoyment of the subject? Women don't need to worry what other people think: if there's something they're passionate about, then nothing should stop them pursuing that.

Beth said that her advice to others would always be to “do what you love, and don’t let anyone stop you” – guidance that her own inspiration, former Exeter student J.K.Rowling personifies. Beth said: “I've always really admired J.K Rowling: the Harry Potter books were a huge part of my childhood, so I always looked up to her as a writer. When I was a little older and found out exactly what she'd been through – and that her books had been rejected about twelve times by publishers but that she persevered and was determined, she became one of my role models.”