Heroes and Heroism
- Peace and Children
- Hobbs, Madeleine - The 10-Year-Old Santa (USA Today)
Madeleine provides for Shriner's Hospital.
- Kaylan Tries to Save Friend in the Middle of Gun Fire (CBS News)
Kaylan was present in the theater in Aurora, Colorado as a gunman shot 71 people. She tried to give CPR to a six-year-old. 07-12
- Malala Yousafzai, 14 Years Old, Risks Life to Promote Peace (NBC News)
"Malala was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize in 2011 for a blog she wrote under a pseudonym for the BBC. She also won the National Peace Prize in Pakistan, was honored with a school named after her, and quickly became an outspoken critic of the Taliban in Pakistan and public advocate for peace." 10-12
- Trilford, Brittany - Addresses 130 World Leaders (YouTube.com)
"On Wednesday 20 June, 2012 17-year-old Brittany Trilford of Wellington, New Zealand addressed 130 heads of state at the opening plenary of the Rio+20 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is her speech." 06-12
- Xander Vento, 4 Years Old, Gives His Life to Save Girl, 3 (NBC News)
"Xander, 4, held a struggling 3-year-old girl above the water, and after becoming exhausted, slipped below the water’s surface, the Associated Press reported." 08-12
- Teens Help Soldiers Call Home (USA Today)
"At the holidays, for a soldier at war, there's nothing like a phone call home. Brittany and Robbie Bergquist have provided more than $1.4 million worth of them — 24 million precious minutes." 11-07
- -CNN Young Heroes (CNN News)
At the age of 10 Cassandra Lin "decided she wanted to do something for the environment and help the less fortunate in her Rhode Island community. She gathered her friends and created Project TGIF -- Turning Grease Into Fuel. The organization collects used cooking oil from restaurants and homes, refines it and then distributes a percentage of it to families who can't afford to heat their homes." 12-12
- -Charlie Simpson Raises $220,000 for Haiti (CNN News)
"He's no Wyclef Jean or George Clooney, but that hasn't stopped the British 7-year-old from raising more than £136,000 ($220,000) for victims of the Haiti earthquake."
"[Charlie] Simpson, who's from Fulham, West London, started out hoping to raise just £500 -- around $800 -- for UNICEF's earthquake appeal by cycling five miles around a local park." 01-10
- -Matthews, Aubrey - Superhero...for a Day (USA Today)
"Aubrey Matthews likes to swim, ride bikes and eat enchiladas. But the 6-year-old's real passion is being a superhero."
"The imagination of the Cole Elementary first-grader came to life Friday when the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Idaho, Windermere Real Estate and others orchestrated Aubrey's wish to be a superhero for a day.” 06-07
- -Scott, Alexandra - One Cup of Lemonade at a Time (ABC News)
"When she was 4 years old, Alex told her mom she wanted to do something other kids do — open a lemonade stand. And she wanted the profits to go to her hospital — the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia"
"Alex's first lemonade stand raised $2,000. Another stand brought in an astonishing $15,000. Friends and strangers were drawn to her mission and opened stands, too. In 2003, Alex Scott helped raise $100,000 for pediatric cancer research."
"Her mother said that Alex never downplayed the importance of selling even one cup of lemonade. She said, 'Basically I don't care how much money I raised. Every little bit counts and I'm going to do it,' Liz said."
"But soon after reaching her fund-raising goal [of $1 million], 8-year-old Alex lost her battle with neuroblastoma on Aug. 1, 2004. She left behind a movement founded on a simple concept: beating childhood cancer one cup of lemonade at a time."
"And that legacy has flourished since her death." 7-05
- -Zhang, Angela: Student Finds a Possible Cure for Cancer (CBS News)
"Angela's idea was to mix cancer medicine in a polymer that would attach to nanoparticles -- nanoparticles that would then attach to cancer cells and show up on an MRI. so doctors could see exactly where the tumors are. Then she thought shat if you aimed an infrared light at the tumors to melt the polymer and release the medicine, thus killing the cancer cells while leaving healthy cells completely unharmed."
"It'll take years to know if it works in humans -- but in mice -- the tumors almost completely disappeared." 01-12
- Brave Children of Afghanistan (BBC News - Miron)
"There was no furniture, no cupboards, no spare clothes left hanging, not even any glass in the windows - just cardboard. And no fire to keep them warm at night." "Nasim earns about 30,000 Afghanis a day - about $1 - cleaning shoes. With that he buys the basics for his family, mostly just bread and sugar." Like many other children in Afghanistan, Nasim is literally the family breadwinner.
"I asked him how he felt about his situation. 'I am happy and not happy,' he told me. 'Happy because I work, but not happy because I cannot earn enough to bring my family everything they need.' " 7-02
- Child Heroes (CNN News)
Provides heroes who are under 18 years old. 08-07
- Cornale, Kayla - Music System for Children With Autism (Top20Under20.ca)
"Motivated to help her 9 year old cousin who has an autism spectrum disorder to learn to spell and read, Kayla Cornale invented "Sounds and SyllablesT", a teaching system which applies the musical component of 'pitch' to the process of learning language."
"Through extensive research, Kayla discovered that autistic children have an apparent talent for tone and pitch recognition." 12-07
- Crowe, Jason - Peace Hero (MyHero.com)
"Jason Crowe was awarded the Culture of Peace Award at the 2000 World Peace Ceremony held in Tokyo, Japan."
"In 1997, a friend sent Jason Crowe an article that would transform him from ordinary 10-year-old kid into peace activist."
"The Informer, Crowe's newspaper, is now distributed in 29 states and 15 foreign countries. In 1997, Crowe was honored at the United Nations Building in New York City, in a ceremony saluting seven youngsters from around the globe who have furthered the virtues of peace and tolerance through their creative talents. More recently, Crowe won the Swackhammer Peace Essay Contest with his essay 'Youth at Work: Building a Global Culture of Peace.' "
"In 1999, Crowe started Youth for Peace in the Year 2000. This organization had two fund-raising events, 'The Chain of Hope' and 'Harmony in the Park 2002,' to raise money for the statue project. Crowe has raised nearly $25,000 toward the $50,000 needed for the peace sculpture." 7-05
- Dancers of Ibdaa (World Press)
"Earlier this month, I watched Palestinian folkloric dance and theatre performed by the Ibdaa dance troupe. The group is the third generation of dancers, consisting of ten boys and ten girls from the Dheisheh refugee camp in the West Bank. The troupe performed at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst campus, the first stop in a countrywide tour to raise money for the Dheisheh refugee camp." 11-05
- Frank, Anne - Inspiring Writer During Tragedy (MyHero.com)
"Anne Frank wrote on the first page of her diary:"
" 'I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.' "
"Anne Frank has been called the 'human face of the Holocaust.' The diary she kept for 25 months, when she was in hiding from the Nazis, is a life-affirming record of her spirit and hope in the face of cruelty and danger. Her words help us in our struggle to understand how to deal with the violence and hatred we find in the world today." 7-05
- Gerson, Perez - Peace Hero (MyHero.com)
"Pérez and I met at the Hague Appeal Conference for Peace. He sold buttons for six weeks to raise the money needed for him and his father to attend. Since then, Pérez has been very successful in his outstanding and humble efforts in fighting against antipersonal landmines, which are a continuing threat to the residents of Colombia (see communiqué below)."
"Pérez and the Children's Movement for Peace were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999, a few years after being awarded the National Peace Award from a pool of nominees that included bishops, NGOs and community leaders. Over the years, Pérez has met with three Latin American presidents, various ministers and ambassadors, Queen Noor of Jordan, Netherland´s Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureates Rigoberta Menchú and Jody Williams. Pérez was the first child to speak before the Colombian Congress." 7-05
- Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen (U.S. Department of Education)
"Heroes are everywhere, and sharing stories about them can help children understand what qualities it takes to be a hero and what heroism really means." 7-05
- Hreljac, Ryan - Hero for Those Who Thirst (MyHero.com)
" 'What made you, even though you were 6 years old, feel like you just had to help the people in Africa?' "
" 'The world is like a great big puzzle and we all have to figure out where our puzzle piece fits. I figure my piece fits with clean water. I just hope everyone else finds out where their puzzle piece fits too.' " 7-05
- Ibrahim, Alex - Peace Through Music (MyHero.com)
"Alex is a leading member of the Peace Links Musical Youths, a group of young Sierra Leoneans who write and perform music that spreads a message of peace, tolerance and reconciliation throughout their country." 7-05
- Kahane, Brianna: Violinist Devotes Talent (CBS News)
"Eight-year-old violinist Brianna Kahane has used her 'American Spirit' and her noteworthy musical skills to raise funds for a destroyed arts school in Haiti." 04-10
- Katie's Cabbage (CNN News)
"Katie Stagliano, age 11, manages multiple gardens that supply food to local soup kitchens." 07-10
- Keefe, Brandon - Hero of Books (MyHero.com)
"He was bored, playing his Game Boy, but half-listening, and so he heard that Hollygrove Home needed a library but didn't have any resources. All they had was an empty space and lots of kids without books."
"The next day, when Brandon’s teacher asked the students to come up with ideas for a community service project, Brandon recalled his mother's conversation at the Hollygrove Home. There was a problem that needed to be solved. An idea occurred to him at once. What about all the books he had read and outgrown?" 7-05
- Kielburger, Craig - Labor Hero (MyHero.com)
"In 1995, when he was 12 years old, Craig Kielburger read a newspaper story that changed his life. Another 12-year-old boy, Iqbal Masih in Pakistan, had been murdered for bringing the world's attention to the terrible conditions endured by children working in the carpet-making industry. 'I saw him as a hero for speaking out about child labor,' says Kielburger. I suddenly understood that a young person can make a difference."
"Kielburger set out to educate himself about human rights, and became so passionate about it that his parents reluctantly allowed him to accompany Alam Rahman, a Canadian human rights worker, on a trip through South Asia. There Kielburger saw, first-hand, the personal horrors behind child labor issues. He wrote about this experience in a book Free The Children."
"Believing education to be one of the best ways to fight child labor, Free the Children [project] established 'Friendship Schools,' linking schools in developing countries with ones in North America, Europe and industrialized countries around the world. In all of these schools, it was children who saw the need and worked to find solutions...." 7-05
- Larson, Peter: Shivers for the Homeless (ABC News)
"Abdulahi was shocked and touched when she realized that it was a boy who saved her and her children's chances at happiness."
" 'I don't know how to explain what he did," she said. "He was just a little boy and it surprised me so much. My God, it's really wonderful. We have a home where my children are safe and healthy and because of Peter I don't have to worry about them. He took a burden off my shoulders, and for my children took them out of a very, very stressful situation and showed them a beautiful world. They're inspired and they talk about Peter all the time, how they want to be good and help like him.' " 12-11
- Leanna, Anthony - Hero of the Heavenly Hats (MyHero.com)
"Anthony Leanna four years ago at the very young age of 10 started his own community service project called the 'Heavenly Hats Foundation.' "
"Heavenly Hats donates brand-new hats to cancer patients and other medical patients who lose their hair due to cancer or any other medical condition."
"Anthony decided to start 'Heavenly Hats' after he spent a lot of time in hospitals when his grandmother had breast cancer. He saw so many of the patients that did not have any hair and wanted to do something to help. 'I wanted to provide comfort, warmth and kindness to people who were going through a very tough time in their life,' said Anthony."
"As of today's date Anthony and his 'Heavenly Hats' program have donated over 50,000 brand new hats (almost $1,000,000 worth of head wear) to more than 150 hospitals and clinics and thousands more have been sent to individuals in need. " 7-05
- Loggins, Dawn: Homeless High School Student Makes It to Harvard (CNN News)
"She was homeless at the start of the school year, abandoned by her drug-abusing parents. The teachers and others in town pitched in -- donating clothes and providing medical and dental care. She got the janitorial job through a school workforce assistance program." 06-12
- Love, Deamonte - Six Year Old Babysitter in New Orleans (USA Today)
"The stories of Americans pitching in to help each other, without regard to color or class, are inspiring."
"After four days without food, seven young children were rescued from a New Orleans home last week by helicopter. In the chaos, the helicopter didn't return for their parents. The oldest child, Deamonte Love, watched over the others at an evacuation center — a 6-year-old in charge of six toddlers and infants." 9-05
- Malala Yousafzai Advocates Education for Girls (Time.com)
"She has become perhaps the world’s most admired children’s-rights advocate, all the more powerful for being a child herself. Her primary cause — securing Pakistani girls’ access to education — has served to highlight broader concerns: the health and safety of the developing world’s children, women’s rights and the fight against extremism. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is now the U.N.’s special envoy for global education, declared Nov. 10 Malala Day in honor of her and the more than 50 million girls around the world who are not at school. Nearly half a million people have signed petitions on Change.org to nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize. That is not how the Taliban intended things to turn out." 12-12
- Malala Yousafzai, Global Outpouring to Help Young Advocate for Education (Time.com)
"When the time came to choose medical treatment for Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl who defied the Taliban and then was gunned down by them, her family and doctors faced a world of possibilities after a global outpouring of advice and offers of assistance." 10-12
- Masih, Iqbal - Labor Hero (MyHero.com)
"Iqbal refused to go back to the carpet mill where he had worked because he knew his rights as a citizen. (There was a Child Labor Law there, but it was not enforced). Soon he gained international interest. Iqbal eventually started making speeches around the world, talking about child labor and his life experiences."
"Iqbal won many awards. He was honored by the International Labor Organization in Sweden, the 1994 Human Rights Youth Action Award by Reebok, and while in the United States accepting the Reebok award, he was nominated 'Person of the Week' by ABC."
"Iqbal is one of my heroes because it takes a lot of guts to stand up to such powerful people and to speak out against evil. He is also my hero because one of my other heroes, Craig Kielburger, would probably never have done what he has done if Iqbal had not sacrificed himself to help others." 7-05
- Maynard, Kyle (KMaynard.com)
"Kyle was born March 24, 1986 with a rare disorder called, "Congenital Amputation." This left Kyle with only three major joints: a neck and two shoulders. Despite his physical differences, Kyle is one of the top high school wrestlers in Georgia. His visit to the Georgia State Wrestling Championship left him with an impressive record of 35-16. Kyle also narrowly missed All-American status at the National High School Senior Wrestling Championships." 11-04
- Meyer, Amanda - Persistence for a Cause (USA Today)
"A 15-year-old girl with a Web site, a summer of free time and an astronaut for a hero is trying to solve a 3-year-old dispute over one of NASA's earliest space suits."
"It's not the first time Amanda has thrown herself at an issue, said her mother, Carolyn Meyer. She raised money for a local no-kill animal shelter, worked on a state representative's campaign and, after growing out her hair to the point where she could sit on it, abruptly cut it off and donated it to make wigs for cancer patients." 8-05
- Nujood Ali Granted Divorce at Age 10 (Time.com)
"It was only once the courthouse emptied during the lunch recess that the judge noticed her and asked why she was there. 'I came for a divorce,' she told him. Horrified, he took her to his house to play with his 8-year-old daughter, and granted the divorce two days later."
"Despite Yemen's laws against child marriage, about 52% of Yemen's girls marry before the age of 18, often as the second or third wives of far older men. Worldwide, child marriage has been slow to change, according to UNICEF's 'State of the World's Children' report released last month. About 49% of South Asian women in their early 20s were married before the age of 18, according to statistics gathered by UNICEF, which links early marriage to high rates of infant death and maternal mortality in very poor countries." 02-09
- Olivia Bouler, Artist Trying to Help the Gulf Coast (CNN News)
"Her teachers knew she loved to doodle on her tests and homework, but no one thought Olivia Bouler's drawing skills would raise more than $110,000 to help birds affected by the Gulf oil spill."
"The 11-year-old wrote to the Audubon Society and told them she had an idea that could help raise money." 06-10
- Rachel Beckwith: Girl's Wish for Clean Water Takes Off After Her Death (MSNBC News)
"Rachel Beckwith wanted to raise $300 by her ninth birthday to help bring clean water to people in poor countries. Donors from across the world are making sure her wish is realized after her death, perhaps a thousand times over."
"Rachel was about $80 short of her goal when she turned 9 in June, and then a horrific highway traffic accident took her life away last week. But news of the Bellevue, Wash., girl’s pluck and selflessness emerged after the tragedy, and it is inspiring thousands of people — most of them strangers — to push her dream along." 07-11
- Reaching the Young Through Music (Christian Science Monitor)
"Hip-hop group Waayaha Cusub, or "New Era," is gaining the ear of Somalis from as far away as the US and Europe, but their controversial message challenges traditional norms and is attracting threats of violence."
" 'The music is different now, we are bringing a change to the youth,' says the group's founder, manager, and main song writer, Shine Abdullahi. 'The big change is that we have inspired young kids in Somalia who were carrying guns and doing drugs.' "
"Mr. Abdullahi says his group is one of the first groups anywhere to make Somali music for young people. The older generation only makes traditional music about their problems and old-school love songs, he says. But, besides the main theme of reconciliation among Somalia's warring clans and peace in the region, Waayaha Cusub sings and makes videos about how badly AIDS has ravaged their society. It's a taboo subject among Somalis, many of whom prefer to think of AIDS as a disease for Christians, especially white people, say group members." 09-07
- Sanberg, Mory - Hero for the Homeless (MyHero.com)
"She decided to focus her community service on helping homeless children and teenagers. She felt this was one place she might be able to make a difference. She contacted several organizations that basically ignored her because she was only 14 years old. The staff at The Night Ministry was different. Everyone embraced her enthusiasm and encouraged her to develop a program that would meet the needs of the homeless. They gave Mory the opportunity to develop a plan of her own."
" Mory began to make hundreds of bag dinners each week during the summer, which were distributed by The Night Ministry to homeless teenagers. The meals, which included a sandwich, fruit, chips and cookies, were assembled in Mory's kitchen with support from her parents and friends." 7-05
- Sparhawk, Noah: Fighting Foreclosure (CBS News)
"This week, Noah showed up at his grandma's bank with a boatload of checks. Signing them all wasn't any fun, but by the time he was through, he had not only given his grandmother back her home but something else even bigger."
"Previously, Noah had helped raise money for a girl whose mother had terminal cancer so the two could go to Disney World together. The mother passed away before they could go, but Noah was able to raise the money so she could go with her father." 02-12
- Steltz, Chrissy: Faceless Hero (ABC News)
"Eight-year-old violinist Brianna Kahane has used her 'American Spirit' and her noteworthy musical skills to raise funds for a destroyed arts school in Haiti." 04-10
- Stepanek, Mattie - Poems and Thoughts (MyHero.com)
"Young Poet and Peacemaker Hero Mattie Stepanek passed away on the morning of June 22, 2004 [at the age of 13 years old]. Mattie’s poems of peace and hope have touched millions of lives, his heartsongs will continue to reach people of all ages around the world for decades to come."
A sample of Mattie's work is "Facing the Future":
Every journey begins With but a small step.
And every day is a chance
For a new, small step
In the right direction.
Just follow your Heartsong. 6-04
- Students Give Peace a Chance (Christian Science Monitor)
"100 Projects for Peace provides seed money for conflict-resolution programs." 04-08
- Teenagers Take Global Warming to Court (TheAtlantic.com)
"Alec Loorz turns 18 at the end of this month. While finishing high school and playing Ultimate Frisbee on weekends, he's also suing the federal government in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C."
"While skeptics may view the case as little more than a publicity stunt, its implications have been serious enough to attract the time and resources of major industry leaders. Last month, Judge Wilkins granted a motion to intervene in the case by the National Association of Manufacturers, joined by Delta Construction Company, Dalton Trucking Inc., Southern California Contractors Association, and the California Dump Truck Owners Association."
"The plaintiffs contend that they have standing to sue under the 'public trust doctrine,' a legal theory that in past years has helped protect waterways and wildlife. It's the reason, for example, that some state government agencies issue licenses to catch fish or shoot deer, particularly when populations are declining. The doctrine has never before been applied to the atmosphere, and it's a trickier prospect, not least because the sources of atmospheric pollution are so diffuse and wide-ranging, extending to other countries whose actions the United States may not be able to influence." 05-12
- Teens Create "Free Department Store" (Time.com)
"With the help of an army of volunteers, Zoe Bairs and Samantha Zabell set up the Fairhill Center in Cleveland with all the donated clothes they've collected, then let the children shop like they are in a department store." 08-09
- Unlikely Hero: 12-Year-Old (MSNBC News)
"Swinson, a diabetic, began having problems with her sugar levels, and her health deteriorated. Sometimes she became listless, or her speech was slurred. More than once she fell into a diabetic coma."
" 'It was then that young Ty Kenney took control. "I feel I had to take all the responsibility,' he said." 10-04
- Wheeler, Rachael: Builder of Homes in Haiti (MSNBC News)
"The 12-year-old Florida resident has done more to aid others than many grown-ups do in a lifetime."
"Three years ago, when she was only nine, Rachel tagged along with her mother to a very adult meeting about charity work in Haiti. She listened as Robin Mahfood, from the aid agency Food For The Poor, describe children so hungry that they eat cookies made of mud, so poor that they sleep in houses made of cardboard." 12-11
- White, Ryan - Hero for Those With AIDS (MyHero.com)
"Ryan White is important to me because even when sick he went out and told many kids about AIDS and spoke out the truth about it. Ryan White has made a difference in my life because he helpes teach me the importance of going out and telling the truth to everyone, even people you don’t know." 7-05
- Wilson, Johnny - Swimming for Hurricane Victims (CBS News)
"Going stroke for stroke with two adult swimmers, fourth-grader Johnny Wilson made history as the youngest person to ever swim San Francisco Bay from the legendary Alcatraz prison island in just under two hours."
"The 1.4 mile swim wasn't just for glory. It was Johnny's idea to raise money for charity — $30,000 in all."
" 'Give it to the Red Cross for Katrina Victims Fund,' Johnny said." 10-05
- Wuitschick, Jeremy: Stops a Bus (CNN News)
"The bus was taking a number of students to Surprise Lake Middle School in Milton, Washington, when the driver became incapacitated Monday morning, falling back into his seat and letting go of the wheel, surveillance video released by the school district shows."
"The bus kept going, guided by no one for seconds, the video shows. Then seventh-grader Jeremy Wuitschick, two seats to the back and right of the driver, jumped into action." 04-12
- Peace Activities for Young Children (AbcTeach)
Provides worksheets to help children appreciate the need for peace. 8-01
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