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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 February, 2004: 
Kelsey Schmidt, Founder,
1001 Cranes of Peace, Hope and Friendship Project, Issaquah, Washington

Quote of the Month: 

"I want to encourage youth in my state to get involved and to realize that they can make a difference.  I believe our collective efforts can result in a lasting message to our country. 

"I think it’s important for young people to believe they have something important to say and that they will be heard."

Kelsey Schmidt, age 14
Amazing founder of 1001 Cranes of Peace, Hope and Friendship Project,
Issaquah, Washington

February is a special month in that we not only celebrate our patriotism by recognizing Presidents’ Day, at the same time, we acknowledge our loved ones by celebrating Valentine’s Day.   That's why February's Amazing Kid! of the Month, amazing Kelsey Schmidt and her 1001 Cranes of Peace, Hope and Friendship Project are so fitting a subject for this month’s story. 

As you'll read below, her 1001 Cranes of Peace Project demonstrates an appropriate blend of both love for country and for the loved ones lost in the September 11 tragedy.  It is an inspiring story and one we hope might inspire you to get involved in your own amazing community service project!  Enjoy!

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Amazing Kelsey and her 1001 Cranes of Peace Project
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Amazing Kelsey and her 1001 Cranes of Peace Project

Kelsey's Amazing 1001 Paper Cranes Mobile

Fourteen year-old Kelsey is an honor student and a freshman at Overlake School in Redmond, Washington.  Like many teens today, she is very involved in many different activities outside of school.  She enjoys performing, both as a dancer and a singer.  Her singing talent has led her to sing the National Anthem at Seattle Sounders and Special Olympics events!

Amazing Kelsey as Miss Jr. Teen Washington

Last summer, she and her brother Garrett were brainstorming ideas about projects that would fill their time and benefit others.  Partially inspired by the book One Thousand Paper Cranes: Story of Sadiko and the Children’s Peace Statue by Takayuki, she undertook a project to create a mobile made from 1001 hand-folded origami cranes in remembrance of 9/11.  She decided the project would be constructed as a gift from the youth of the state of Washington to the city of New York.

KOMO Kids' Day at Seattle Center

Kelsey recruited youth from across Washington to participate through her website and her contact with the Department of Parks and Recreation, schools and at county fairs.  She traveled around the state helping the kids fold the origami cranes.

Kelsey's friend Lindy helping kids at the Clark County Fair

Why 1001 paper cranes?  According to Kelsey’s mom, Diane Schmidt,Kelsey and the other youth made the first 1000 cranes and the additional one is a symbol of connection to the next thousand. The underside of each crane contains the name, age and hometown of its maker and iridescent plastic beads were placed between each crane on the mobile to shine at the 9/11 memorial.

Kelsey and Commissioner Mullgrav of New York City

Kelsey presented her amazing mobile to the city of New York last September, on the second anniversary of 9/11.  Kelsey says about her experience in New York:

"Commissioner Mullgrav (of the Department of Youth and Community Development of
New York City) was very gracious. Many from her staff came to see the presentation. 
They kept the mobile and displayed it at their YOUTHfusion meeting last October. 
The meeting's purpose was to discuss ways youth can use the Arts in the healing
process for traumatic events like September 11th."

Kelsey interviewing on Radio Disney

Like many of our previous Amazing Kids of the Month, Kelsey is also involved in other community projects.  She volunteers with a Special Olympics swim team and the Make a Wish Foundation.  This will be the 3rd year she has organized a backpack project for use in travel by the “Wish” kids through her church as a Lenten project.

You can read more about Kelsey and her amazing project by visiting her website at:

Amazing Kids! wishes you continued success, Kelsey!  You are an inspiration to us all!

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Calling all amazing kids!  If you, or a young person 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!  Simply complete a nomination form for an Amazing Kid! of the Month award, or email us!

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Kelsey Schmidt's website:
Western States Jr. Teen America:

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A Special Message from Amazing Kids! for all you kids:

It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered.  (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!) 

If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it!  Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are!  We are always looking for new stories.  And don't be shy!  We'd love to hear from you!

Here's an idea you might want to try:


If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them?  Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talents! 

Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors . If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at: .


  It's cool to be an Amazing Kid!


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