Teen who has sent thousands of books to Indigenous communities up for major award

Mogus, 18, started an international charity, invented a device to help ALS patients, won a Queen's Jubilee Medal, and is now nominated for a Samara Canada Everyday political citizen award.

The 18-year-old has developed an award-winning invention, launched an international charity and more

"It's incredibly rewarding to see the sort of impact you're able to create," says Emma Mogus, 18, who is up for a national award for her achievements. (Emma Mogus)

Emma Mogus has launched an international charity, won a Queen's Jubilee Medal, invented a device to help ALS patients and is now in the running for a Samara Canada Everyday political citizen award.

And in case that stacked resume wasn't intimidating enough, get this: she's only 18.

"It's incredibly humbling," a poised Mogus told CBC's Metro Morning about her latest achievement — being nominated for the Samara Canada Everyday political citizen award, which celebrates "ordinary democracy heroes" in Canadian communities.

The winners will be announced Thursday night.

Mogus was nominated by three different people and is now short-listed in the under-18 category for her work with Books With No Bounds, the literacy charity she co-founded with her older sister, Julia, who is 19.

The Oakville, Ont. sisters launched the initiative, which aims to bring the gift of reading to children and youth in northern Indigenous communities, back when they were 12 and 13 respectively. 

Mogus said the charity has brought more than 200,000 books to Indigenous communities and countries around the world.

One recent shipment of books to a community in Nunavut was the first time the area had received new literacy tools in more than eight years, Mogus said. 

"It's incredibly rewarding to see the sort of impact you're able to create," she said.

Now at McMaster, Mogus focusing on science

When she's not delivering books, Mogus is a budding scientist.

She's studying chemical and physical sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., and is "quite busy" with a special project: Her invention, a computer mouse that's controlled by the tongue, which could help people with conditions like ALS, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries use computers.

The device won Mogus the 2016 Weston Youth Innovation Award from the Ontario Science Centre.

Mogus won a $2,000 science prize for creating and building a computer mouse that is controlled by the tongue. (Ontario Science Centre)

So what's next for this multi-talented young woman?

"As long as I'm able to use my skills, whether that be science, or reading, or humanitarian, to make the lives of other people better, I'll be happy," she said.