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Bullied youth has passion to help people: meets many new friends

Sunday, June 1st, 2014 by Raluca Besliu

Harnoor Gill is a 16-year-old from Georgetown, Canada, with a passion for volunteering. He was born in Hong Kong to Indian parents, but has lived in Canada most of his life.

Currently in secondary school, Harnoor has been volunteering since he was three.  At that tender age, he started going door-to-door to

Harnoor Gill

sell cookies to raise money for the Hong Kong Red Cross.  It was not until the first time that he visited India with his parents and had his “first brush with poverty in the form of a freezing child in the streets during a cold winter that I realized what a difference I could make.”

Harnoor stresses that he couldn’t be where he is now without his parents, who have always supported and encouraged his desire to make a difference in the world, especially after he started having problems with bullying in elementary school. (more…)


Boy empowers children to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals

Sunday, May 4th, 2014 by Raluca Besliu

When he was 9-years-old, Dylan Mahalingam founded Lil’MDGs, an international development organization aiming to leverage the power of the Internet and social media to educate, engage, inspire and empower children and young people from across the world to work together to advance the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs were eight international development goals set in 2000, aim to meet the needs of the world’s poorest by 2015.


Through his organization, Dylan, who is currently 18 years-old, managed to mobilize tens of thousands of children from 40 states across the U.S. and 43 countries to raise more than $780,000 for tsunami relief and over $10 million for hurricane relief. Through their combined effort, these young people have managed to make a tangible difference in the lives of over one million people worldwide. (more…)


Ryan Hreljac: A First Grader’s Determination Leads to Drilling 100′s of Needed Wells

Friday, December 27th, 2013 by Charlie Butts

Water!  What’s so special about water?  Ryan Hreljac found out that it is pretty special if you don’t have it.  When Ryan was in first grade, his teacher wanted her students to begin to think about sharing basic things with people who do not have what most people take for granted.  One of the things she said some people in Africa needed was a water well.  Ryan asked, “Why do they need a well?  Why don’t they just go to the water fountain?” 

source: Ryan's Well Foundation

source: Ryan’s Well Foundation



The end of malaria? Brothers might have the answer

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 by Raluca Besliu

Brothers John and Mark Lewandowski may soon launch a global health revolution, by inventing a portable, cheap, fast and easy to use device for early malaria diagnosis. Their invention may not only prevent the death of millions who have already contracted the disease, but also lead to a drastic reduction of incidences of malaria.

Mark and John Lewandowski

Mark and John Lewandowski

Malaria is a leading cause of death in the world. Around 300-500 million people are infected with malaria each year. In 2010 alone, an estimated 660,000 people died from the disease. Caused by parasites of the Plasmodium species, malaria is easily transmitted to people when infected mosquitoes bite them. It is most common in sub-Saharan Africa and some parts of Asia and Latin America. While continuing to claim countless lives on a yearly basis, malaria can be cured, especially if detected in its early phases.

The young inventors’ device, called the Rapid Assessment of Malaria (RAM), diagnoses malaria in less than one minute with just one drop of blood from a fingertip. John first thought up the devise in his graduate research at Case Western Reserve University where he studied inexpensive techniques to manipulate malaria parasites with magnetism.



At 14, Shea Gouldd made her baking passion a successful business

Friday, June 21st, 2013 by Raluca Besliu

Shea Gouldd, an 18-year-old, from Delray Beach, Florida, had an interest in cooking since before she can remember. According to her mother, as a toddler she preferred to watch cooking shows rather than cartoons.

Her mother recalls that Shea always wanted to help make dinner. Her mom would let her snip green beans with scissors, measure rice and carry out other small tasks. Shea’s passion for cooking gradually turned to baking.

Source: http://www.sheasbakery.com/Sheas_Bakery/Shea.html

Shea Gouldd
Photo source: www.sheasbakery.com

Since baking ingredients are rather expensive, her mother, a self-employed single-parent, challenged her to earn money. So, in 2008, at the age of 14, she started selling gourmet cheesecakes and seasonal breads to family friends and neighbors to earn money for baking and developing new recipes.
The business won customers and soon she could open her own bakery: Shea’s Bakery. (more…)


10 yr-old raised $10 million for victims

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 by Raluca Besliu

Talia Leman wanted to help the victims of the destructive and deadly Hurricane Katrina. Determined to help as much as possible, the ten year old planned to raise $1 million, which for most would seem a ludicrously ambitious goal, especially for a child her age. Talia managed to rally a children-led movement that reported not $1 million, but over $10 million, ranking this youth-led giving power with the top five U.S. corporate donors,  including Wal-Mart, Exxon and AT&T.

Source: randomkid.org

Talia Leman Photo source: randomkid.org

The movement started that Halloween when Talia decided to trick-or-treat for coins instead of candy. Her younger brother, however, vehemently opposed. Consequently, she became the CEO, chief executive optimist, of the fundraising effort, while her brother became the CON, the chief executive nemesis. (more…)


Ten-year-old Martha Payne advocates for healthier foods in school

Friday, May 24th, 2013 by Raluca Besliu

In 2012, 9-year-old Martha Payne, a Scottish schoolgirl from Lochgilphead, discovered her passion for writing after publishing a newspaper article on the Titanic’s sinking.
Source: Marysmeals.org.uk

Source: Marysmeals.org.uk

Source: Marysmeals.org.uore

Looking for a way to write everyday, Martha and her dad created a blog that documented Martha’s school lunches. Martha was coming home hungry because of the poor quality of the food served at school. The schoolgirl lives on a small farm, on which her family grows some of their food. She could easily tell the difference between the highly-processed food at her school and the simpler, healthier cuisine she was eating at home.



Hannah Taylor: Helping Canada’s homeless since she was 8

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 by Raluca Besliu

Hannah Taylor was five years-old when her and her mother drove passed a man eating out of a garbage can in Winnipeg, Canada. Puzzled, Hannah asked her mother why he would do this. She introduced Hannah to the dire reality of homelessness. For the rest of the year, the man troubled Hannah and prompted questions to her parents until one day her mother encouraged her to take action.


Following her mom’s advice, Hannah asked her grade school teacher if she could talk to the class about homelessness. She did and together with her peers, she “ended up having a bake and art sale, and giving all the proceeds and clothes and stuff to a local mission. And it got bigger from there.” (more…)


Cecilia Cassini: the youngest fashion designer in the U.S.

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 by Raluca Besliu
Source: WWD.com

Cecilia Cassini, youngest fashion designer

Thirteen-year-old Cecilia Cassini from Encino, California was the youngest designer in the U.S. and one of the youngest in the world, when she launched her own label in 2009, at the age of 9. By 2011, she had already created over 500 original pieces and dressed many celebrities, including Heidi Klum and Miley Cyrus.

The young designer primarily creates clothes for girls between 4 and 14, but often adapts them for adults as well. Cecilia likes to use feathers, fur and bows for her designs.

She designs all the clothes herself.  In order to balance school work and designing, Cecilia does her homework in the library during recess, so after school she can focus entirely on her creations. (more…)


14-year-old Kesz Valdez has helped over 10,000 homeless Filipino children

Monday, May 20th, 2013 by Raluca Besliu

When he was two-years-old, Cris “Kesz” Valdez’s father forced him to scavenge at a dump site in Cavite City, situated not far from Manila. His father used to beat Kesz and use the money collected for drugs and alcohol.

Source: Bida Kapamilya

Source: Bida Kapamilya

When he turned four, Kesez ran away from home and lived on the streets, continuing to scavenge off a dump site and to sleep in an open tomb in a public cemetery with other kids.



Dalumuzi Mhlanga, a college junior, is preparing Zimbabwe’s future leaders and entrepreneurs

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 by Raluca Besliu

Dalumuzi Mhlanga is a young Zimbabwean man empowering, mobilizing and inspiring the youth in his country “to work together beyond socioeconomic barriers so that they can lead community development efforts.”

Source: Lead Us Today

Source: Lead Us Today

Dalumuzi is a student of Politics, Psychology and Sociology at Harvard University, who is currently on an exchange program at the University of Oxford, UK, as a recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship.



F*ck Cancer: Yael Cohen’s revolutionary approach to beating cancer

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by Raluca Besliu
In 2009, after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery, then 22 years-old Yael Cohen decided to start a non-profit organization called F*ck Cancer.
Yael Cohen, the founder of Fuck Cancer.

Yael Cohen, the founder of F*ck Cancer.

Cohen recalls why she decided to create the organization: “The movement started from my head in my hands, defeated and defiant, wanting to support my mom. I decided I would do something to teach people how to look for cancer instead of just find it, because early detection really was our salvation. It has been almost two years since mom was diagnosed, and my life is now completely different.”



Ally Mollo: Building a doll empire; Supports three charities

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by Raluca Besliu
In 2009, when Ally Mollo was 8 years-old, she started drawing pictures of guardian angels, inspired by her own guardian angel, her grandfather.
Ally revealed: “My mom always said my grandpa was looking over me so I drew lots of angels representing my family and friends.”
Ally Mollo, the creator of a doll empire.

Ally Mollo, the creator of a doll empire.

Her mother loved her drawings and suggested that they should do something more with them. Ally decided to transform them into soft dolls, because she wanted them to give “kids comfort and also be fun to play with and bring along.” (more…)


Jason McAninch: 8th Grade Founder of J-TEK, a computer services company; also funds charity

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by Raluca Besliu

At a young age Jason McAninch discovered he was good at operating and troubleshooting computers, as he kept helping classmates and teachers with their computer problems. In 1999, when he was in the 8th grade, he started J-TEK, a company initially focused on creating custom computers for locals. When companies such as Dell and Gateway entered the market, the young entrepreneur’s company shifted its focus on computer consulting, “helping others with technology support.”

Founder of J-TEK and J-TEK Foundation

Throughout high-school and college Jason continued to create a client platform for J-TEK as much as studying and work allowed him to. But, it was only May 2010 that Jason decided to take a “leap of faith” and pursue J-TEK full time. J-TEK currently provides its services to Johnson County and surrounding areas in Kansas. Stressing that the key to success is putting constant hard work into your  business, Jason nevertheless acknowledges that it is essential to take care of your well-being, because “if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.” (more…)


13 year-old solves big problem with slick solution

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by Charlie Butts

At thirteen, a Connecticut middle-school student, Cassandra Lin was upset to find that many people in her community couldn’t afford heating fuel. She was already bothered by the world-wide issue of global warming. Instead of thinking since she is just a kid it isn’t her problem, she made it her problem. And because she didn’t know she couldn’t solve the problem… well just click on this short video and see what she does.


Teen empowers women to earn for children’s education

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by Raluca Besliu

In 2009, then 14-year-old Laetitia Mukungu started in her grandparents’ village the Women’s Rabbit Association (WRA), a cooperative organization that farms rabbits to help local women led decent lives and pay for their children’s educational needs. The rabbits are sold to Kenyan restaurants for meat.


The teenager’s decision to start the business was directly linked with unexpected changes in her life. After completing her primary education at Nairobi Primary School in the Kenyan capital, where her mother, the main breadwinner, lived and worked, Laetitia was admitted to attend Precious Blood Girls’ School Riruta. She could not afford the fees, given that her mother had lost her job. (more…)


Alex Scott: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by Charlie Butts

Things can seem so simple through the eyes of a child. There is no grey, only black and white, right and wrong. It often makes adults, those who “know better,” simply shake their heads. But it’s also why children can surprise us and enlighten us, can accomplish things we wouldn’t have even dreamed of—like, say, improving cancer research with nothing more than a lemonade stand.

Alex Scott

Alex Scott

By the time she was eight years old, Alexandra Scott, the founder of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, had turned that dream into a reality with little more than ambition and the inability to “know better.” And really, it shouldn’t have surprised anyone.



Asya Gonzales: 16 yr-old Founder of Stinky Feet Gurlz; Starts Charity of Raise Awareness to Sex Trafficking

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by Raluca Besliu

Asya Gonzales is the young founder of Stinky Feet Gurlz, a company that designs, markets and sells 1940s-inspired t-shirts and apparel. The 16-year-old girl came up with this idea when her mother showed her one of her childhood doodles of a girl with big red lips and pin curls. Asya recounts that when her mother, alongside her sister and cousin were children, “they played hard and when they’d come in to watch TV, they’d take off their shoes and their grandma would come in and shoo them out because their feet were stinky so they were the original Stinky Feet Gurlz.”

Asya Gonzales, founder of Stinky Feet Gurlz (more…)


Juan David Aristizabal Ospina: uniting Colombians to bring social change

Thursday, April 11th, 2013 by Raluca Besliu

23 year-old Juan David Aristizabal Ospina felt increasingly disturbed by the fact that Colombia’s mainstream media mostly presented sensationalist information about conflict, violence and corruption.

It also transformed drug traffickers and guerillas into heroes, by disproportionately focusing on  them, while failing to highlight the stories of people bringing positive change for their society that could inspire citizens to take action. At the same time, he felt that the Colombians that were making a difference in society did not have a space to share their initiatives and to collaborate with each other.

ospina (more…)


Lauren Slive: Changing Health Care in Africa, One Suitcase at a Time

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 by Chris Landers

And to think, it all started with a couple of suitcases.

When Lauren Slive first began her dream to improve health care in Ghana in 2007, she was just a 19-year-old girl dragging as many supplies as she could carry through airport customs. But from those humble beginnings sprang Project HEAL, an organization connecting medical supplies and knowledge to hospitals and communities in Northwest Ghana.

Lauren Slive: Two suitcases to 100 tons

The determination of Lauren and her friend, Emma Lawrence, ensured that their dream would grow. In that first summer, the group distributed 450 medical kits and informational pamphlets to families and health leaders. By the time they graduated in 2009 — with the help of over 50 volunteers along the way— Project HEAL was responsible for a children’s library, a playground and thousands of pounds of first aid materials. (more…)












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