25 Child Stars Who Are Hollywood’s Next Big Thing: Rowan Blanchard, Willow Smith and More

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How Gavin MacIntosh Is Fostering a New Generation of Acceptance

In honor of tonight’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, we’re taking a look at 25 child stars – all under the age of 18 – who are Hollywood’s next generation of A-listers.

From Girl Meets World‘s Rowan Blanchard to Room‘s Jacob Tremblay and The FostersGavin MacIntosh, these teens are not at all just some ordinary high school students who moonlight as actors.

They’re all young, budding stars with a capitol S.

For example, 14-year-old Blanchard recently made headlines for coming out as queer, and not wanting to label her sexuality, on Twitter. She commented on the backlash in an interview with Wonderland magazine, saying “I’m okay with it now, but I still realize that I was allowing people to comment on something that’s very personal. The first day I tweeted about it, it was definitely scary to see people commenting about things that literally have nothing to do with them.”

And certainly, it’s not her sexuality that makes her a star, but the fact that she’s using her platform as a young celebrity and someone with social media clout to unapologetically, awesomely speak her mind, be an advocate for the LGBTQ community and feminism, and not to mention just be an all-around fly and hip fashionista (all in addition to her day job as an actress).

In addition, 15-year-old Willow Smith (initially famous for being Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith‘s daughter, and one half that is her and Jaden‘s now-notorious New York Times T Magazine interview) is making massive waves in both the music as well as the fashion industry. From her standout, sensational 2010 single “Whip My Hair,” released when she was just the tender age of 9, to now being the new face of Chanel, Smith is undeniably the newest “It girl.”

Lastly, MacIntosh is fostering a new generation of acceptance with his role on The Fosters. On his and co-star Hayden Byerly‘s on-screen kiss, which became the youngest same-sex kiss in television history, MacIntosh prolifically told Celebuzz! back in January:

I think it’s raised awareness. I mean, I’d say that most important thing that I can do with my role is bring positive light to this cause. A lot of kids have no idea as to what kind of struggles that LGBT kids go through everyday, just going through normal tasks in life. Being able to play a character and showing them that it’s hard—it’s hard just living sometimes. If I can help with that, that’s great.

They might just be teenagers, but their positive impact on society is not only undeniable but admirable. We’re lucky to have these 25 as Hollywood’s new A-list generation.

Check out the gallery above to see all 25 amazing child actors, including Black-ish stars Marcus Scribner and Yara ShahidiMad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka, the BeckhamsThe Walking Dead‘s Chandler Riggs, Amandla Stenberg of The Hunger Gamesfame, and many more.