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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 Kid! of the Month for March, 2008:
Amazing Young Photographers, Project: Tomorrow, Young Photographers Initiative ("YPI KIDS") ; Portland, Maine

Amazing Kids! of the Month, March, 2008,
The Amazing Young Photographers of Project: Tomorrow:
Back row:
Andrew Cilea, Josh Conley, Courtney McIntire, Kayla Withrow, Rebecca Hardy,
Front row:
Brendon Dunn, Amanda Hogate, Nicole Woodward, Deanna Stephan
Amazing Kids! of the Month, March, 2008:  The Amazing Young Photographers of Project: Tomorrow

Quotes of the Month

“The project exceeded my wildest expectations…and not necessarily because of the images that the children took. While they were great, what really moved me was the total 'trip' that they went on in doing this project. They really got into to it and it was…. a great escape for all of them… an escape that culminated in a Preview Night that I don’t think any of them will forget.”

"It's about TOMORROW. It's about hope... and the camera provides them with the vehicle to go on this journey."

Paul Denckla, Principal, Project: Tomorrow Young Photographers Initiative ("YPI KIDS")

“I liked being able to do things by myself. To direct my subject and take my own pictures, with no one telling me what to do was great…. And I got my mind off being sick.”

Rebecca Hardy, 15; Young Photographer from Maine Children's Cancer Program (MCCP)

Our March Amazing Kids! of the Month:

American Folk Singer and songwriter Joan Baez had once said “Action is the antidote to despair.” When we face an adverse situation, the best way to fight it is by doing something constructive. It reduces stress and provides a fresh perspective.

The Project: Tomorrow, a Young Photographers Initiative and Exhibition (or "YPI KIDS") provided a similar opportunity to nine children undergoing treatment for cancer in Maine. The brainchild of Paul Denckla, a photographer and former architect and retired real estate investment professional, the project helped them forget their illness and express themselves through the art of photography. The photographs also provided an insight into some of the beautiful relationships that these children share with their family and friends.

We hope these children from Project: Tomorrow and their touching photographs will inspire you to overcome adversity you may face with hope, a positive attitude and a realization of the importance of family and friend in our lives.

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! Simply complete our Amazing Kids! of the Month award online nomination form, visit our AKOM nomination information page ( or email us!

Project: Tomorrow, Young Photographers Initiative and Exhibition ("YPI KIDS")

Project: Tomorrow Exhibition Poster
Project Tomorrow Poster

Project: Tomorrow is the inaugural project for the Young Photographers Initiative, which was founded by Paul Denckla, a photographer and former architect and real estate investment professional. The project was created in partnership with the Maine Children's Cancer Program at Maine Medical Center. A group of children and teens, ages 9 to 18, were given Holga cameras, were taught the basics of photography and how to use the cameras, and then were asked to complete a photographic assignment.

They were asked to take a portrait of someone who they thought is or will be important in their life...TOMORROW.

The project's completion was celebrated with a special Exhibition of the images in the Children's Museum of Maine in Portland. Opening night was October 3, 2007. Each young photographer was represented by two images in the Exhibition: The first being a portrait of the child or teen, and the second, the image that the child took.

At the close of the Exhibition each child was given the set of his/her images, along with a CD of all images in the Exhibition together with a poster designed to commemorate the Exhibition.

As Denckla explains: "It's about TOMORROW. It's about hope... and the camera provides them with the vehicle to go on this journey."

Amazing Kids! is pleased to introduce you to the beautiful images taken by these amazing young photographers who participated in Project: Tomorrow, as follows below.

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Amazing Young Photographers

 Dr. Craig Hurwitz, Josh's Oncologist
Dr. Craig Hurwitz, Josh's Oncologist

Eleven year old Josh Coloney describes himself as a 'joker'. He chose his oncologist as the subject of his photograph “because he is smart, funny and a good person.”

Samuel Pelletier, Andrew's cousin
Samuel Pelletier, Andrew's cousin

Ten year old Andrew Cileais as passionate about baseball as anyone can be. In the photograph is his cousin who is “kind, funny and fun to play with." Andrew says: "Sometimes I let him beat me."

Dot Brooks, Courtney's Grandma
Dot Brooks, Courtney's Grandma

Courtney McIntire, 17, chose her Grandma as the most important person in her life because “she has been through every-thing with me and even though I can be stubborn she never gives up on me.”

Marie Boisclair, Kayla's Aunt
Marie Boisclair, Kayla's Aunt

Twelve year old Kayla Withrow describes herself as “really outgoing” and chose her Aunt Marie for her portrait because “she had tough things to overcome and she did that.”

Leah Hardy, Rebecca's sister
Leah Hardy, Rebecca's sister

Rebecca Hardy, 15, loves horses and horse riding. She spends a lot of time on her laptop. She chose her sister Leah as her subject for being her 'best friend’.

Conor Hogate, Amanda's brother
Conor Hogate, Amanda's brother

Seventeen year old Amanda Hogate's favorite gadget is her iPod. She can play the cello. She picked her brother Conner as the subject of her portrait for all the lovely things they do together.

Andrew Dunn, Brendon's dad
Andrew Dunn, Brendon's dad

Nine year-old Brendon Dunn descibes himself as funny. He chose his dad, Andrew Dunn, for the portrait. “I want to be like him when I grow up.” Brendon says.

Joseph Guadagnino, Deanna's Pop Pop (Deanna's brother Josiah was used as a stand in model)
Joseph Guadagnino, Deanna's Pop Pop

Nineteen year-old Deanna Stephan loves music. She is passionate about helping other children with cancer. She considers her Pop Pop Joseph Guadangino as her hero and hence, chose him as the subject of her portrait.

Kolbe Bryce Moody,
Nicole's nephew
Kolbe Bryce Moody, Nicole's nephew

Nineteen year old Nicole Woodward can't stand being alone. She chose her nephew Kolbe as her subject. “It doesn't matter what mood I'm in, he can always make you smile.” Nicole says.

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The Experience

Project: Tomorrow, the Young Photographers Initiative and Exhibition has provided the children with an opportunity to express themselves, to take a break from their experiences being a patient in a children's hospital, while exploring their world and their own creativity, and ultimately, have some fun along the journey towards Tomorrow.

Watch a moving video about Project: Tomorrow, which first appeared on a local Maine television news program called 207.

Becca says: “I was starting to feel better from my treatments and saw this project and I immediately wanted to try it. I always loved photography and this was something I could take charge and do something by myself again.”

The experience has been a life changing one for many of them. “It has made me stronger. It has given me a whole new outlook on life, because nobody is promised tomorrow.” says Deanna.

Related Links

Link to Young Photographers Initiative (YPI KIDS) websiteFor more information on Project: Tomorrow and the photo exhibitions, visit

Link to more information on Maine Children's Cancer ProgramFor more information on Maine Children's Cancer Program (MCCP), visit

Button linking to list of online press on Project: Tomorrow
For a moving video of a television news segment on Project: Tomorrow, click here.

Button linking to list of online press on Project: TomorrowFor online press on Project: Tomorrow and YPI KIDS, click here. and Paul Denckla and Project: Tomorrow, click here.

Button linking to list of online press on Project: blog:

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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 talent.

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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