|Amazing Kids! of the Month
Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!
Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things. We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements.
Amazing Kids! of the Month for November, 2005:
Amazing Young Advocate for the Disabled, Julianna Colon;
Egg Harbor, New Jersey
Amazing Young Advocate for the Disabled, Julianna Colon, age 8;
Organizer of "Project Lucy"
“I really love helping other people. Many people thing that kids are too little to help, but I think kids can make a big difference in the world. I think it is sad that kids who are in wheelchairs or who can’t walk very well can’t enjoy places like Lucy the Elephant the same way that I can, so I am going to help change that.”
Amazing Julianna Colon, age 8
“I think it is important to try to help others in any way we can. You don’t have to have a lot of money to make a difference in this world, just a loving heart!"
you know that October 22nd was “National Make a
Difference Day,” a day of volunteerism sponsored by USA Today in
partnership with the Points of Light Foundation and the Paul Newman
Foundation? This month, Amazing Kids! shines the spotlight on a very
special Make a Difference Day
project, organized by 8-year-old Julianna Colon. Amazing Kids! is proud to
feature Julianna as our November Amazing Kid! of
As you'll read below,
Juliana really went all out to "make a difference" in others’
lives. An amazing young advocate for children with disabilities,
she organized “Project Lucy the Elephant,” a fundraising contest to
help preserve a local national historic monument in Margate, New Jersey
and to retro-fit it to make it handicapped accessible.
And don't forget, if you, or a young person (or persons!) you know, has an amazing project you are involved in, or a special skill, talent or ability you want to tell the world about, be sure to let Amazing Kids! know about it! Teachers are invited to nominate their entire classroom and the amazing projects they are working on too! Simply complete our online nomination form for the Amazing Kid! of the Month award, or email us!
Amazing Young Advocate for Disabled Children, Julianna Colon
Amazing Young Advocate for Disabled Children, Julianna Colon
Julianna Colon is an enthusiastic 8-year-old 3rd grader in Elwood, New Jersey. Like a lot of girls her age, she likes ballet, drawing and animals. (Her pets include a cat, a chocolate lab, a hermit crab, fish and a chicken!) But although she enjoys these things, her real passion is helping others.
Julianna has been helping disabled and mentally-challenged kids since she was about 3 years old. She first became interested in helping others and knew she could make a difference from her older sister's example, Brittany, age 14, who had her own project underway called “Buddy Ball” which focused on getting kids who are wheelchair-bound or are mentally disabled involved in sports-related activities. (Amazing Brittany is a former Amazing Kid! of the Month, from May, 2003. Read her inspiring story here: www.amazing-kids.org/akom5-03.htm)
Living in her area, Julianna was very familiar with a local, huge (and we do mean huge!) attraction in Margate, New Jersey, known as "Lucy the Elephant."
visiting Lucy the Elephant on a field trip, Julianna became
very concerned that kids (and adults) who were in wheelchairs, or
disabled, could not enjoy Lucy with their families or friends. Visitors must
by a winding staircase in one of the elephant’s “legs,” making it
inaccessible to those who are
handicapped. Julianna realized how disappointing it must be for a
disabled child who would be forced to wait outside of the attraction
while their friends and families were able to go
inside and explore. Julianna wanted to
know what she could do to help, so that all kids could see Lucy’s belly
the inside and not feel left out.
when she came up with the idea for "Project Lucy."
Making a Difference: Project Lucy
Julianna felt that an essay and poster contest would be a fantastic way to get kids interested in preserving national landmarks and making them handicapped accessible. With the help of big sister Brittany, she made up entry forms and sent them out to all of the elementary schools in the South Jersey area. The theme for the essays and posters was “Why Should National Historic Landmarks Like Lucy the Elephant be Made Handicapped Accessible and How Can You Make a Difference?”
There were four winners from the poster contest: Bess Levin,Jacob Kavky and Samantha Pastore, all from Margate City, New Jersey, and NiaLaren Davis from Mays Landing, New Jersey. The winning posters were all framed with the artist’s information and were put on display at Lucy’s Gift Shop for everyone to see. The children each received a gift basket containing a Lucy T-shirt, stuffed Lucy plush toy, a Make a Difference Day T-shirt, water bottle, wrist band, pin tattoos, a Certificate of Recognition, $20.00 mall gift certificate and an autographed picture from Julianna’s big sister, Brittany, who is Miss New Jersey Teen America 2005.
Atlantic County, New Jersey Assemblymen
Blee and Conover read about Julianna’s
project in the local newspaper and contacted her about the
project. They came to the Hamilton Mall on “Make A Difference
Day” to present the four winners, Julianna and Brittany with
Commendations from the State of New Jersey Senate and Assembly for
making a difference in the lives of others!
Julianna got the ball rolling with the contest, but it didn’t stop there. Together with her family and friends an auction was held and over $1,000 was raised from the contest and auction for the Lucy the Elephant project.
Now the community’s involved, too!. The Old Country Buffet, a restaurant located in Mays Landing, New Jersey, has offered its location to Julianna’s project for holding future fundraisers. Julianna is planning a special dinner night where the restaurant would donate $1.00 per person dining to the Lucy Project! Julianna and her sister Brittany have entered their project in the National Make a Difference Day awards program, and if they win, they could receive $10,000 from Paul Newman’s Foundation to go towards making Lucy handicapped accessible!
Amazing Kids! wishes you much luck in your efforts, Julianna! You are an inspiration...and one truly Amazing Kid who really knows how to ”Make a Difference!”
the Elephant: www.lucytheelephant.org
– Official Site of Lucy the Elephant,
Margate, New Jersey
Kid of the Month, Brittany Colon: www.amazing-kids.org/akom5-03.htm
– An entire family of
Amazing Kids: Julianna’s
sister, Brittany, was
featured as the Amazing
Kid! of the Month for May, 2003!