Kids! of the Month
Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!
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.
Kid! of the Month for April, 2008:
“Take every opportunity and make the best of it, because you never know what it may bring! You just never know what you are capable until you put your mind to it. Always follow your dreams and DREAM BIG! ”
Mackenzie Bart, Age 15;
Our April 2008 Amazing Kid! of the Month:
When Mackenzie Bart's youngest sister Demetria was diagnosed with a rare disease and needed speech and sign language therapy, Mackenzie wanted to do something to help. She not only learned sign language to be able to communicate better with her sister, but she went a step further and developed a program called "Seeing Voices" to teach others about sign language.
We hope that Mackenzie's story will help you realize the importance of dreaming big and achieving those dreams with hard work, determination and commitment.
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
form, visit our AKOM nomination information page (http://www.amazing-kids.org/nomination.htm#nomination)
Table of Contents
“Vocalist, Sign Language Artist, Pianist, Dancer, Entertainer and Dreamer!!” is how 15-year-old Mackenzie Bart of Brockway, Pennsylvania describes herself on her website. While participating in speech and sign language therapy sessions for her youngest sister, then 8-year-old Mackenzie realized that she could combine her love for singing with American Sign Language.
She started by learning America the Beautiful at elementary school. Later, she learned more difficult songs like The National Anthem. She continued taking Sign Language classes and developed an educational program called "Seeing Voices" that seeks to raise awareness about sign language among people of all ages.
Mackenzie with Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell
Her “Seeing Voices” program was recognized by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell who arranged for Mackenzie to talk with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Director of World Language to promote sign language as an elective in Pennsylvania's schools.
Mackenzie visiting with the principal from
Mackenzie says: “I have gained an ultimate learning experience as a result from Seeing Voices programs. This came about from my visit to Western Pennsylvania's School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh. There, I met with deaf students, administration, and teachers. It was amazing to see the campus and learn that these students have the greatest setting for learning. Technology is used in vibration and in sight so they can follow the structure of the day. I learned that parents choose this school because public schools do not offer the best atmosphere for learning for the deaf. This has inspired me to try to make a difference by meeting with my local representatives to encourage them to make sign language a mandatory basic instruction course in our public schools.”
Mackenzie and fellow club members in the sign language
Through her “Seeing Voices”program, Mackenzie has been able to share sign language at major events and with famous people such as the Pittsburgh Steelers. She has enjoyed "signing" at schools, day care centers, hospitals, nursing homes, memorial events, and patriotic ceremonies. She has also started a sign language club at her high school for students in grades 7th – 12th. She has, till date, provided over 65 educational programs.
Mackenzie smiling proudly after receiving
A caring and dedicated volunteer for many charitable causes, Mackenzie has been volunteering regularly for many organizations since the age of nine. She has helped groups such as The United Way, March of Dimes, The American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, and the Make A Wish Foundation. She has also shared her talents in performances she's given at Veteran's Day Programs, Memorial Day Programs, and Sept 11th Memorial Ceremonies, She has also helped collect food for food pantries in her home town each for several years and has donated her time and energy to Theater in the Park, The American Legion, and Jefferson Count Farm & City programs.
Mackenzie explains: " My favorite times have been at nursing homes and Read Across America programs. I have sold tickets, served dinners, organized children's games, sang, or helped in any other way asked. I feel I have touched the hearts of the young and the old."
Mackenzie Receiving an "Outstanding Young Citizen Award"
Mackenzie has been recognized for her amazing charity work and she received the "Outstanding Young Citizen Award" from the Tribune Review for her contribution to the community.
She has received countless other rewards and recognition as well. For a complete list of Mackenzie's amazing achievements, please visit her website at: http://www.mackenziebart.com/awardsandhonors.htm
Mackenzie as “Belle” in a high school performance of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Mackenzie recently starred as “Belle” in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Musical at her High School. In February 2008, she successfully auditioned for “Destination Broadway,” an intense summer workshop in New York City that focuses on voice, acting and dance. She also had the opportunity to meet the Producers of Food Network’s Dinner Impossible who invited her to complete an Internship with the network. “I plan on continuing to reach for my dreams.” she says. She has sung the National Anthem for Pennsylvania Governor Rendell, the Pittsburgh Steelers, several semi-pro flag football and baseball teams, and more. She is also the Captain of her cheer leading squad and President of her Freshman Class. She was the 4th runner up at Miss Pennsylvania USA Teen 2008.
Despite her busy schedule, Mackenzie manages to excel in the classroom as well! She has won several academic awards including John Hopkins University Academic Talent Search Student, Principal's Pride Recognition, Academic A+ Team Award, and the Presidential Award of Excellence.
Mackenzie is a huge fan of Kristen Chenoweth. “Kristen is a rising Broadway Star, vocalist, and actress. She has been in many plays and musicals from Anne to Wicked. She is definitely one of my role models because of her amazing singing, delightful acting, and lovely personality combined with her expression of her strong faith. I think that is very important. I hope, one day, I can be as successful as her.” she says.
For her 16th birthday, she plans to be in New York City to audition for America’s Got Talent and after completing college, she hopes to be a professional entertainer. She wants to continue competing in pageants “They have taught me so much about myself, strengthened my communications abilities, and have met so many nice girls along the way.” she says. Eventually, she hopes to have her own cooking show on a major network to inspire kids to get more active and get away from the video games by living and eating a healthy lifestyle.
Amazing Kids! congratulates you Mackenzie on all of your amazing accomplishments. Keep up the amazing work. You are truly an inspiration!
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!
WHY NOT HELP OTHERS SEE THEIR OWN POTENTIAL?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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