Kids With Heart

These five young people are old souls when it comes to kindness.



NORMA LOPEZ MOLINA

 

Elizabeth Tran
Green and Beyond
“We’re the next generation and we’re the ones who can impact the environment most,” says Elizabeth, as she explains her motivation for starting TeensGoGreenGlobal.org. Now 17, she started the website when she was 12 to spread awareness about how teens can protect the environment. Then in 2009, the pageant competitor and current Miss Teen Florida International created the Miss Miracle Pageant, an annual event that has raised more than $22,000 for Children’s Miracle Network. “I feel like I am such a blessed girl,’’ says the Cypress Creek High School student.  “The most important thing I can do to return the favor is to share my blessings.”
 
Andrew Weinstock  
Sweet Success
When Andrew decided to start collecting leftover Halloween candy for Operation Gratitude in 2009, he figured a reasonable goal was 50 pounds. He collected 911. In 2010, he collected 4,300 pounds. Last year, more than 2½ tons of candy passed through the 16-year-old’s Winter Park living room on its way to Iraq, where American soldiers use it as a community relations tool with local kids. “I think it is important to let our soldiers serving overseas know that we are thinking of them and that we appreciate the sacrifices they make every day to defend our country,” Andrew says.
Nikki Kingsland
Blanket Coverage
After watching a class video on homelessness in 2009, Nikki collected 500 blankets and sleeping bags to help those in need. Since then, the 12-year-old has collected more than 5,000 blankets, sleeping bags and backpacks for Central Florida’s homeless, along the way creating a website (nikkisblankets.webs.com) and a Facebook page to help her spread the word. “This experience has helped me realize that I have it a lot better than a lot of other kids my age,” says Nikki, who hands out some of the blankets in person at Lake Eola on Christmas morning. “And it’s taught us not to judge—these families didn’t plan on ending up here.”
Ryan Hart
Speaking Volumes
Like any 13-year-old, Ryan gets asked to clean his room a lot. But last year when the Sanford Middle School student rolled up his sleeves, he unearthed more than 100 unwanted books and magazines, and rather than toss them, he decided to give them away. “Then I realized that if I have this many books, my friends probably did too,” says Andrew, who was recently named a Disney Dreamer & Doer. Project Book Storm (projectbookstorm.weebly.com) was born and has since amassed more than 7,000 books, magazine and toys, all of which are funneled through the Seminole County school system and given to kids in the free lunch program. “I learned that if you try to make a difference, you probably will,’’ Ryan says. “You should always try.”
Akylah Cox 
A Cultivating Spirit
Thirteen-year-old Akylah wanted to do something memorable with her seventh-grade presidency at Orlando Science Schools. So she applied for a $1,000 Disney Friends for Change grant to build a community garden at her school. Akylah used the money to buy 50 Woolly Pocket plant kits, solicited some soil donations, and set her schoolmates to work building a vertical garden outside of the school. “I feel like kids these days can do so much more than they actually think they can,” says Akylah, who is donating the bounty from the garden to Second Harvest Food Bank.

 

 

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

2018 Premier Veterinarians

The 2018 Pet Guide: Pet Resource Guide

Here are some of the places you can go in Central Florida when you need supplies, products and services for your best friends.

Premier Realtors 2018

Let Orlando's best realtors help you find your dream home!

Orlando's Best Lawyers 2018

Our annual list includes hundreds of Orlando-area attorneys in dozens of areas of practice.

Orlando's Top Dentists of 2018

Our annual list featuring 224 of the area's finest dental professionals.

Guide to Private Schools 2018

Our searchable annual database will help you chart an educational course for your family.

2017 Premier Doctors

Our annual list of over 500 doctors.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Health Hub: Cancer Care For The Body, Mind and Spirit

Treating the whole patient can improve outcomes.

Texas de Brazil Fall Feast Giveaway

Enter to win a $200 gift certificate for four to Texas de Brazil for a Fall Feast to remember!

Kid Kontributor of the Month - September 2018

Read all about why Leah's cat, Missy, is special, and learn all about our monthly feature, the "Kid Kontributor of the Month."

Orlando Burger Battle 2018 Giveaway

Enter to win VIP and General Admission tickets to our epic Orlando Burger Battle and a subscription to Orlando Magazine!

Health Hub: September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Research and advancements in treatment provide hope for the future
Edit Module