When you were 15 years old, what were you up to? Chasing after girls? Rebelling against your parents? Investing stocks and spearheading charities? Chances are you didn’t select the latter category. But chances are you aren’t Edward Bourke, a 15 year-old Australian who spends his spare time investing in company stocks, gold or currency to fund various charities.
While managing his own investment portfolio at an age when most kids are getting their first summer jobs, Bourke has been able to make enough money to privately back a number of political and conservation causes. He’s passionate about genealogy, having traced his ancestry back to the early Middle Ages, and has been helping to fund and organize social campaigns on topics ranging from climate change awareness to animal conservation. One of his charities, “Saving the Lion Foundation”, has earned more than 50,000 followers on Instagram since he founded it in 2014, and is partnered with a number of international organizations. He claims that it’s the world’s largest lion awareness group by social media reach.
Despite his interest in environmental causes, Bourke is also a major conservative and proud monarchist. He’s most recently started focusing his attention on Donald Trump. Bourke said that he first got interested in supporting Trump when watching a news update in Australia that painted the Presidential hopeful in a bad light. While he doesn’t support what he’s called some of Trump’s more “extreme” stances, such as barring Muslims from entering the US, Bourke has long admired Trump’s business success, and believes that his economic prowess and management record make him the best candidate for President, which in turn would strengthen the Australian economy. He’s created a Twitter account, @Trumptriumph, and a website, thetrumpcampaign.com, designed to give people a simple and accessible view of the candidate.
Despite his young age, Bourke has big plans for the future: he wants to attend Cambridge or Oxford, then after a successful business career venture into politics. As a monarchist, Bourke says he feels “very connected” to Britain, and wants to live there in the future. He claims that the British political system is much better than his native Australia, and the conservative movement is more popular there as well, so it seems like the best place for him to be.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with all of Bourke’s stances, you can’t help but admire this opinionated teenager’s drive and ambition. Considering how hard he’s worked and all that he’s done, it’s hard to bring up his age without sounding patronizing, especially when he’s accomplished more than plenty of people twice his age. The one thing that I will say is that he’s got plenty of potential, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for this young activist and entrepreneur.