On Top of the World

In June, a rather impressive young man became the youngest person ever to climb the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. His name is Johnny Strange - he is only 17 years old and has already put his mark on the map.

Johnny first set this goal when he was 12 years old, and he and his dad climbed Mount Vinson in Antarctica. He loves a challenge and wanted to prove that no dream was too big. He also hoped to raise awareness for several charities with his climbs.

Taking on a challenge like this requires a lot of preparation, discipline and training. Johnny had to be in great physical condition, understand all the safety procedures and eat a healthy diet to have the energy to tackle this test. He also had to learn different climbing techniques required for each mountain's conditions. He always put safety first, postponing climbs if the weather did not cooperate. An experienced mountain guide led Johnny's trips, and his dad Brian also joined him on the climbs.

Johnny climbed the highest peaks around the world including Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount Denali in Alaska, as well as mountains in Russia and Argentina. This spring, Johnny and his team met the tallest of challenges, reaching the 29,035-foot summit of Mount Everest in the Himalayas. His last climb was 7,310 foot Mount Kosciusko in Australia, which earned him the world record.

Johnny's message to other kids reaches beyond climbing mountains. "Never let anyone stifle your dreams no matter the feat, for if you have the heart and the courage, impossible is nothing," he said. I can't wait to see what goal he sets next.

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