Skyler Bradley, 12

Writer, actor

His story: Skyler is in the dream business. He has a passion for adventure and science-fiction writing, and he’s already starting to make a career of it. He was a finalist in the Henderson Public District Library 2011 Teen Creative Writing Contest, and his short story “Robots Have Feelings, Too”—the tale of a sentient robot who must destroy himself in order to save the world—was published in the library’s Unlocked Voices magazine. Skyler has almost finished his first novel, Paradox, about an international spy alliance. He also hopes to start a newspaper featuring young writers, to give them a chance to be more involved in their community.

School: Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Jim Bridger Middle School, seventh grade

Extras: An outstanding student with stratospheric test scores, Skyler is also interested in history: He was one of eight students invited to Southern Nevada’s annual Teacher/Student Holocaust Education Conference, where he listened to several survivor accounts and had a one-on-one dinner with Holocaust survivor Stephen Nasser, author of My Brother’s Voice. Skyler is also a dedicated actor. He studies with Marcus Weiss of Le Rêve and performed in The Pied Piper and Robinson Crusoe for the renowned Missoula Children’s Theatre and Alice in Wonderland for the Rainbow Company Youth Theater. Last summer, he was one of 35 students who participated in the Las Vegas Performing Arts Intensive, a four-week program taught by top performers from Las Vegas shows. He also wrote and directed a short film, a 1940s-detective pulp, which was one of four finalists screened at El Cortez’s Cinema Competition last month.

What He’ll Be Doing In 10 Years: “I see myself as a director/writer who’s probably just beginning and writing some stories and getting them published, maybe even an agent. I just want to grow and have people know my ideas, have people say, ‘Wow, have you ever heard about that author guy who wrote the robot story, the mob story?’”

What they’re saying about him: “Beyond being a well-rounded student, he has a personality that lights up the school,” says Deanna Jaskolski, principal of Jim Bridger Middle School: “He has that aura about him. He is so confident about who he is and what he wants to explore.” Adds Weiss: “Skyler is incredibly gifted, an endless fountain of joyous creativity—ideas bubble out of him in a constant stream. He is passionate and committed and has an incredible sense of direction for a young man his age. His scope of references is incredible and far beyond his years.”

Suggested Next Read

The Builder

Car Crazy

The Builder

By Bob Whitby

If you have to ask why, you’ll never understand Gordon Tronson. There is absolutely no practical reason to build a twin-engine, 1,000-horsepower hot rod, by yourself, in your garage. If you can somehow make sense of that, try this: Unlike practically every other twin-engine car ever built—and there have been quite a few, from drag racers to street cars—the power plants in Tronson’s car are mounted side-by-side. It’s much easier to put them in-line, but Tronson doesn’t do easy.