Co-founding Lil’ MDGs at the age of 9, Dylan has mobilized over 3 million children and has over 24,000 regular volunteers in 41 different countries around the world. He is leveraging power of the digital media, a youth speaker for the United Nations and project ambassador for Under the Acacia. At this time, he is but a sophomore in high school.
As a 6 year old in 1998, he learned that African children had to walk miles to get water. His first idea was to build a well for a village. By the following year, he had done so by doing household chores and engaging in public speaking about clean water issues. He is now in college at the University of King’s College in Halifax with 667 projects spanning across 16 countries, bringing clean water and sanitation to almost a million people.
Now a 12 year old at the Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville, Katie started her contribution off with one cabbage seedling she brought home as part of her third grade class assignment. It grew to 40 pounds and when she donated it to a soup kitchen, she learned that if fed over 275 people. That began her initiative to start vegetable gardens and donate the harvest to the hungry. She donates thousands of pounds of fresh food to numerous organizations that feed the hungry.
In our first look at historical contributions, born in 1809, Louis suffered an eye injury at the age of 3 that left him blind. As he studied at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris, he developed a system for the blind so they could read and write. Braille is a universally used system using raised dots to write and print books for the blind.
Before Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin. Claudette was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus 9 months before Rosa Parks challenged the policy. She was involved in the decision handed down in Browder vs. Gayle that eventually outlawed segregation of buses.
No look through history for children making amazing contributions can be complete without mentioning Anne Frank. Born in 1929, Anne spent two years of her life hiding in an attic. She had been given a diary and despite what was going on around her, she wrote about the good of humanity. Her family was eventually found and Anne ended up dying in a concentration camp. Her father Otto Frank survived the experience and when he found her diary, he published it as a The Diary of a Young Girl in 1947. It is one of the most widely read books commonly known now as The Diary of Anne Frank.
Alexandra ‘Alex’ Scott
When Alex was diagnosed with cancer before she turned 1, her path in life already seemed defined. At the age of 4, she decided that she wanted to open up a lemonade stand and raise funds for doctors to help kids with cancer. At the age of 4! She raised $2000 her first year. But, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation would go on to raise over $1 million to go toward cancer research. Even though she passed away in 2004, thousands of volunteers annually participate in June on a weekend called Lemonade Days where they sell lemonade from Alex’s Lemonade Stands.
Team Revolution was created in 2000, an idea Divine got from noticing that there weren’t many positive things for the youth to do in his Brooklyn neighborhood. He was able to raise $25,000 to convert his parents’ home into his first community center.
William KamKwamba from Malawi did something totally innovative and beyond imagination. He taught himself from books he read in the local library how to make a wind turbine. He used scrap and bike parts to put it together and he ended up building the turbine to provide energy for the electrical appliances in his family’s farmhouse. Then, he went on to build a second turbine to power a water pump that supplied his village with fresh water. He has since completed his studies at Dartmouth, is known as an inventor and engineer as well as being the author of The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. What an amazing young man!