Ten extraordinary kids and teens from across the country came together for three days in New York City to highlight their work as changemakers, learn how to expand their impact, and inspire other youth to take action. These 10 young people have been recognized as Hasbro Community Action Heroes for their outstanding work in their communities and beyond by generationOn, the youth service division of Points of Light, and Hasbro Inc.’s as part of the company’s BE FEARLESS BE KIND initiative.
Ranging in age from 9 to 18 years old, this incredible group shows youth and adults alike that it’s never too early to make a difference. Here are some highlights of their amazing work:
- Violet Humble, age 9, Spokane, Washington: Violet rallied family and friends to help the homeless population of Spokane, assisting more than 300 homeless people a week by distributing thousands of toiletries and snack bags, and serving more than 900 full meals.
- Hailey Richman, age 9, Long Island City, New York: Hailey founded Kid Caregivers, a support group for kids who are assisting their families in caring for a loved one with dementia. She is also the assistant director of Puzzles to Remember, where she distributes puzzles to seniors with dementia and spends time with them as they work on the puzzles.
- Zoe Terry, age 10, Miami: At age 5, Zoe created her own organization called Zoe’s Dolls to inspire and motivate girls of color to love themselves. She promotes positive body image by holding her “Love the Skin I’m In” Creative Expressions Contest, where she encourages girls to submit a poem or video on why they love themselves.
- Paloma Rabana, age 11, Tallahassee, Florida: Paloma, who is legally blind, recognized a critical gap in services for visually impaired 6-13 year olds in Florida; she lobbied the Florida legislature to approve the Children’s Program for Florida’s blind and visually impaired 6-13 year olds program, providing $1.25 million with $500,000 recurring annually.
- Morgan Guess, age 14, Pudacah, Kentucky: At just 8 years old, Morgan was bullied, suffering in silence and becoming withdrawn and depressed. She started Guess Anti-Bullying to support other kids going through the same issue. She spent three years lobbying the state of Kentucky, which signed a bill into law that defines bullying in Kentucky, affects 1,233 public schools and protects some 640,000 students.
- Zachary Rice, age 15, Morristown, New Jersey: After being diagnosed with a rare degenerative bone disease, Zachary realized playing video games helped distract him from pain. Now he hosts the “Action for Distraction 5K” to raise funds to donate gaming systems to children’s hospitals, raising more than $75,000 and helping more than 200,000 children in four years find comfort and normality in the hospital.
- Aidan Thomas Anderson, age 16, Woodstock, Georgia: Aidan’s love of music sparked his realization that he could give back. Now he wants to teach his generation to give through his initiative, Aidan Cares. Speaking to youth from more than 30 countries, some as young as 4 years old, he helps people figure out how they can get involved and follow their passions to give back.
- Angelina Zevallos, age 17, Berkley, California: Leading a community project called Youth Voice Advocate, Angelina recruited more than 30 youth team leaders to focus on outreach to ease the crisis of homelessness in the Bay Area. Working with community partners, Angelina has engaged homeless youth in revitalizing an empty lot and worked with them to create a safe space while recognizing their unique talents and contributions.
- Eden Duncan Smith, age 17, Brooklyn, New York: Eden is excited to use her increasing fame as an actress to help shine a light on civil rights and being a voice for others, especially for the LGBTQ+ community and young women of color, through her Angel in the S.K.Y.E. Network. Eden has spoken out about women’s rights, including speaking at the United Nations, and engages her community members to create opportunities to continue to find ways to fight for everyone’s basic human rights.
- Josh Kaplan, age 18, Phoenix: Recognizing that kids with intellectual disabilities are often isolated socially, Josh created GOALS (Giving Opportunities to All who Love Soccer), a nonprofit Unified Soccer Program for kids with and without special needs to help build a forum for positive social interaction between the groups, creating inclusive opportunities for all to feel welcome, encouraged and cared about.
Throughout their time together in New York, the Heroes worked on a joint service project packing toiletry packs for the homeless, met with author and parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba to talk more about empathy and kindness in kids, and created a pledge to use their voice to inspire other kids.
On Tuesday, they were also honored on stage at the Hasbro’s New York Toy Fair showroom. After being presented with their award by Karen Davis, senior vice president of global philanthropy and social impact for Hasbro, these 10 young “heroes” shared their pledge to continue inspiring others. The kids were also treated to a tour of Hasbro’s showroom, getting to see and enjoy all of the new toys, games and entertainment coming out in 2017.
Returing to their communties, the Heroes look forward to bringing back the things they learned to help them continue to amplify their outstanding work,while inspiring others to BE FEARLESS BE KIND by standing up for others, including everyone and taking action.