by Angie Shiflett
When we think of heroes and inspirational stories, we most often envision police officers, military personnel, firefighters, and even imaginary characters that possess superhuman powers and are often broadcasted on television through series and movies. The truth of the matter is all of these qualify as heroes, in the traditional sense. Based on what we know about heroes, we know and understand that they come in all forms, shapes, and sizes. We here at More4kids.info pay tribute to all of the men and women that are considered to be heroes and have inspirational stories; however, for the purpose and intent of this guide, we would like to honor our younger heroes with inspirational stories. Here, you will find 10 kid heroes that More4kids absolutely loves! We encourage you to share this guide with your family and friends as the holiday season approaches. Not only will these stories touch hearts and make a lasting impact on those that read them, they will also honor those children that are featured! After reading our first five kid heros, check out our next 5 in part II of Inspirational Kids.
More4kids absolutely loves Elayna Hasty, who is known as a strong anti-bullying advocate and strives to assist others by sharing her personal experiences in various public speaking venues as a part of the non-profit organization that she founded, “Girls Against Bullying” Girls Workshop, often called “G.A.B Girls”. She developed the idea for the organization when she was just 9 years old, after personally experiencing severe bouts of bullying and watching other students in her school being subjected to bullying. The bullying surrounding her was so detrimental to those impacted that one of her friends left school and was homeschooled. It was, at this point in her life, that she knew it was time to take a stand against bullying and rally up the troops to make a difference in the world, and, that she did!
Since the year of 2010, Elayna Hasty has put in thousands of hours in community service. She works diligently to reach as many students as possible throughout the country. Her motto, “Encourage, Lead, and Empower”, has made a tremendous difference in the lives of those that she has touched. Elayna works to teach girls of all ages that they should be compassionate towards others, as well as themselves. She teaches the importance of having strong self-esteem, being a leader, and taking a stand against the ever-popular “Mean Girl Syndrome”. She teaches students to develop the courage it takes to make a positive mark in the world and overcome bullying. For more information about Elayna Hasty and her amazing work as an inspirational hero, visit the following pages:
GAB Girls Website:
G.A.B Girls Facebook Page:
Nicholas “Nico” Sierra
On September 17th 2015, a bus containing 27 elementary school kids plunged into a pond in an area in close proximity to Tampa, Florida. What could have been a devastating accident only resulted in one injury thanks to the heroic efforts of a boy named Nicholas “Nico” Sierra. The then 10 year old boy explained that when he was riding the bus, the vehicle hit a tree. Glass immediately broke and another tree was hit. Soon thereafter, the school bus plunged into the pond. The students from Mary E. Bryant Elementary School immediately started scrambling for safety. As the screams and cries from the children surrounded him, Nicholas “Nico” Sierra immediately went into action to assist the kids.
Nicholas “Nico” Sierra saw his friend underneath the water surrounding the bus. He grabbed her and took her to the front of the bus region where it was safe. He then saw cars traveling near the accident and waved to them for assistance. Immediately thereafter, he went back and pulled several other students out. By the time that the Sheriff’s Department arrived on the scene, Nicholas “Nico” Sierra had assisted every single person that required help at the scene. The deputies confirmed the location of all of the students. Out of all of the people in the accident, only one was treated for minor injuries. Nicholas “Nico” Sierra put aside his own devastation and assisted those kids that day. The fifth grader described the experience as one which was “surreal” to him; however, he returned to school the next day. His story continues to be one of the most inspirational stories of amazing kids! To learn more and see an image of this young hero, visit the following links:
Heroic 10-Year-Old Boy Rescues Students After School Bus Crashes into Lake: http://www.people.com/article/hero-10-year-old-rescues-students-bush-crash-lake-florida
Rays Give Royal Treatment to Student Who Rescued Classmates from Overturned School Bus:
Leigh Dittman suffers from a complicated and rare medical disease known as “Osteogenesis Imperfecta”. This illness causes the bones to become exceptionally weak. It also stunts the growth of the child. Children that are diagnosed with this disease could experience extreme pain and even broken bones if they fall or hit something too hard. Unfortunately, Leigh has experienced numerous broken bones during her lifetime. Additionally, she has had to have numerous surgeries. Since the tender age of three weeks old, Leigh has been receiving treatments from the Shriners Hospital in Tampa, Florida. By the age of three, she wanted to help the hospital raise money to assist other children.
Immediately after coming up with the fundraising idea, the Leigh Dittman Foundation was founded and has performed numerous fundraisers in order to raise money for the hospital. To date, her foundation has raised well over $200,000.00 and continues to excel! She is very passionate about her mission to help the hospital and the children that are treated by the hospital. Shriners Hospitals are considered to be 501(c) (3) nonprofit organizations. They provide specialized levels of care to kids with a wide array of conditions, regardless of whether or not they are able to pay. However, the hospitals depend heavily on the contributions of donors. Without heroes like Leigh Dittman, many children would not be able to receive these very expensive treatments and levels of care. This is why Leigh Dittman is one of our favorite heroes! For more information on Leigh Dittman, visit the following links:
Leigh Dittman Foundation:
Leigh Dittman Annual Charity Event (Facebook Page): https://www.facebook.com/Leigh-Dittman-Annual-Charity-Event-133896139962580/
At age 11, Jessica Rees was diagnosed with a tumor of the brain. Every single day, her parents would take her to the hospital in order to receive treatment for the condition. While visiting the hospital, little Jessica saw that many of the kids had to stay. This prompted her to ask her parents when they would get to return home. Once she discovered that many of the kids could not go home and would have to stay at the hospital, she wanted to do something to increase their happiness. This is when she developed the concept of the “Joy Jars”. These containers were filled with an assortment of items such as toys, crayons, and other things that she believed would make a kid happy.
In January of 2012, little Jessica lost her battle with her illness and passed away; however, prior to her passing, she had created and provided 3,000 of her Joy Jars to the children at the hospital. By December of 2012, well over 50,000 more of the jars were delivered through the foundation named in Jessica’s honor, the Jessie Rees Foundation. As a result of her contributions to the world and her inspirational story of selflessness, she was named as one of only 3 of the “Young Wonders” honored in 2012 at the “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute”. Despite the challenges of her own medical issues, Jessica put herself to the side and focused on others. Here at More4Kids.com, we honor Jessica Rees as one of our all-time favorite kid heroes! To learn more, visit the links below:
The Jessie Rees Foundation:
Girl’s Idea Brings Joy to Sick Kids:
Despite the fact that Ryan White passed away on April 8th 1990, he is still considered to be a hero – among kids and adults, alike. Not only did he and his mother fight AIDS-based discrimination, but, they aided in educating the nation about the disease. Ryan White was officially diagnosed with AIDS at the tender age of 13. As a result of his diagnosis, he and his mother had to fight for his right to go to school. As a result of this fight, the family gained international attention as a voice for reasoning with those that did not understand or were fearful of AIDS.
Ryan White was born as a hemophiliac. He received a blood transfusion and developed AIDS. Due to the lack of knowledge about the condition, when he received the diagnosis, his school expelled him. This came shortly after being told he had only 6 months to live. Ryan White defeated the odds and lived another 5 years. At the age of 18, he finally passed away from the condition. Just a few short months later, the congress passed the official AIDS bill that is called the “Ryan White CARE Act”. “CARE” stands for “Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency”. Throughout the years, this has been continuously reauthorized by legislation. Today, it is referred to as the “Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program”. Ryan White’s struggle resulted in a solid understanding of HIV/AIDS and encouraged compassion towards today’s sufferers. For more information, visit the links below:
Ryan White Official Site:
Ryan White CARE Act Celebrates 25th Anniversary:
Thank you for reading the first installment of our series, “10 Heroes with Inspirational Stories That More4kids Loves”. Here, you have been introduced to the first five kids that we consider to be amazing and their inspirational stories. These children include Elayna Hasty, Nicholas “Nico” Sierra, Leigh Dittman, Jessica Rees, and Ryan White. We would like to take this time to now share with you what we consider to be the definition of a “Hero”. A hero is someone that transforms their compassion or personal virtue into a type of heroic and/or civil virtue. Heroes specialize in putting their best forward in order to service humanity, in one way or another. A hero takes actions that will benefit those in need. They defend integrity. They support a moral cause. A hero is a special type of person that uses their empathy for the better good. Heroes “Pay it Forward” and encourage others to do the same. They inspire!
This is the conclusion of Part 1 of this series. We hope that you have enjoyed reading about the kid heroes that we here at More4kids.com find to be absolutely amazing. Be sure to stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, where we will outline another five amazing kids that we absolutely love! Do you know a kid who has proven to be a hero? Would you like to see that special little person in your life receive recognition? If so, we encourage you to write up a story about that special child and send it to us! Be sure to include why you think that the kid deserves to be recognized as a hero. We absolutely LOVE hearing about children making a difference in our world! Today’s children are tomorrow’s future. Their actions have the ability to build a better tomorrow for all of us! By recognizing these special young people, we are encouraging them and their peers to continue to shine, despite the shadows of adversity that constantly loom over our world. If you would like to read more stories like the ones that you have read here, be sure to visit the following links:
Inspirational Kids: Kids Who Have Achieved Great Things: inspirational-kids-making-a-difference/”>http://www.more4kids.info/1501/inspirational-kids-making-a-difference/
10 Year Old Hero Creates Charity to Raise Money for the Shriners Hospital:
Children – Our Hope for a Brighter Future:
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Update: Check out Part II here –> Kids with Inspirational Stories: Part II