Inspired Interview: Jason O’Neill

Jason O'Neill

In 2005 at the age of nine, Jason became an entrepreneur with his business, Pencil Bugs, after coming up with his handcrafted pencil topper to sell at a craft fair. The eight different colorful, bug-like characters were soon seen on bookmarks, greeting cards, as well as t-shirts, hats, and other products. By age ten, Jason was public speaking, sharing his story with people of all ages at schools, community organizations, and conferences. He is also a philanthropist supporting Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, California. In addition to his donations, Jason has held an annual fundraiser to give teddy bears to the kids in the hospital for Christmas. By age eleven, Jason had already received a Young Philanthropist Award and became the youngest person to win the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. At twelve, Forbes named him on their first Top 10 List of Role Models 18 & Under. He has also enjoyed a lot of media acclaim in newspapers, magazines, TV/radio, as well as being featured in other author's books. In 2010, Jason added published author to his list of credits with his first book, Bitten by the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur. "This opportunity has been amazing but it's important to recognize when to change directions," Jason says. After much consideration, Pencil Bugs will be extinct as of December 31, 2011. This also means that Christmas 2011 will be his last sponsored Teddy Bear Fundraiser for Rady Children's Hospital. What's next for Jason? He always keeps his options open and looks for opportunities wherever they may pop up. For now, he's focusing on high school with graduation in 2014 and plans to get a Computer Science degree with a focus on video game design. For more information, to purchase products, or to donate to his hospital fundraiser, please visit pencilbugs.com.

For more information, please visit pencilbugs.com.

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