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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 June, 2007:
Amazing Young CEO and Philanthropist, Talia Leman, RandomKid; Iowa

Amazing Kids! of the Month, RandomKid!

Quotes of the Month:

“There are people everywhere who can’t help themselves, and as fellow humans, we have to always be in a place of taking responsibility for each other.

“By helping kids help others, they will know what they are capable of, and be able to use those skills all their lives. Plus, nothing feels better, or teaches you more about your own power and worth.

“I have learned that anyone is someone. I allow myself to think big, and then I take all the small steps to get there, one after the other, never stopping. When I hit an obstacle, I see it as a wrong-way sign and head a new way.”

~ Talia Leman, age 12,

June's Amazing Kid! of the Month:

Have you ever dreamed of helping make the world a better place, but weren't quite sure how to go about doing so? 

In our June Amazing Kid! of the Month feature below, you'll read about one amazing 12 year-old girl from Iowa, Talia Leman, who dreamt of making the world a better place, and started her own non-profit organization to do something about it.  With the help of her mother and her mentor, Talia knows how to make good things happen...and how to inspire others to join in to help!  Read her amazing story below about how she started "RandomKid" and who knows?  You just may be inspired to become one of her "RandomKids" too!

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!

Table of Contents

About Amazing Talia
In Her Own Words
Get Involved!
Related Links

About Amazing Talia

Amazing Kid! of the Month, Talia Leman, age 12
Amazing RandomKid founder and CEO, Talia Leman, age 12

When Hurricane Katrina caused immense devastation along much of the north-central Gulf Coast in August of 2005, damages exceeded $80 billion dollars, nearly 2000 lives were lost, and the nation was changed forever. Amidst the destruction and despair rose many anonymous heroes, those who helped and changed the lives of individuals affected by the disaster. Talia Leman, now twelve years old, is one such hero. Talia is the CEO and founder of her own non-profit organization “RandomKid”, whose mission is to “take the goodness of a child and turn it into goodness for the world.”

Talia began her pursuit of helping others by working to raise money for hurricane relief, realizing that many victims could not sufficiently support themselves. In 2005, Talia rallied and reported $10 million for hurricane relief from kids nationwide.  Her organization received reports from an estimated 5,000 school districts.
Locally, she created a campaign called: "TLC" (Trick-or-Treat for the Levee Catastrophe), in which she enlisted trick-or-treaters to ask for donations of coins rather than candy.  Talia’s contribution to the total was $226,000.

Gradually, Talia expanded her project into helping the homeless, AIDS and cancer patients, those who did not have access to education, American soldiers overseas, and well as people who live in the absence of clean water. RandomKid successes could not have been achieved by Talia alone. Initially, her mother became her mentor. Talia also received guidance and support from Anne Ginther, now a partner of RandomKid, as well as Katie Scolari-Borden, who works for
UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund).

Although RandomKid was created just two years ago, Talia’s accomplishments thus far have been truly amazing!  In addition to working in conjunction with other children philanthropists from around the nation to raise $10 million for hurricane relief, Talia also established the “RandomKid National Task Force to Rebuild the Gulf” in 2006, which has raised $45,000 to date. She held a press conference with Iowa Governor Vilsack to ask him to rally the support of governors across the United States in the effort.  She also designed and manufactured house-shaped key chains, which will be sold in 445 stores in thirteen states starting on August 29th, 2007, the mark of the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Amazing Kid! of the Month Talia Leman and Iowa Governor Vilsack
Amazing Kid! of the Month Talia Leman
meeting with Iowa Governor Vilsack

Talia has also arranged a fundraiser that raised $25,000 for a four-year-old leukemia patient who lives with his unemployed single mother by sewing and hanging 50 over-sized Christmas stockings in local businesses. This year, Talia’s “For Each Other” project raised nearly $6,000 for AIDS. Talia has been featured on national television including the TODAY show, MSBNC, FOX, and CNN. She has also been featured in various magazines and newspapers including Family Circle Magazine, TIME magazine, the LA Times, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune. She has won the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, was named UNICEF’s first National Youth Ambassador, and has received recognition from the Point of Light Foundation, President Clinton, and President Bush!

Amazing Kid! of the Month Talia Leman poses as the UNICEF Youth Ambassador for Hurricane Relief
Talia in a playful pose as the first
National Youth Ambassador for UNICEF

Through her work with RandomKid, Talia has realized that everyone is significant and possesses the power to make a difference in the life of another. She believes that the important thing is to begin somewhere and to take the first step in making a change in our society.

Today, Talia is as busy as ever!  She has started a campaign for schools across the nation to develop, label, and market their own bottled water products in order to raise money for technologies to bring sanitary water to deprived areas around the world. Schools from three states are currently involved in Talia’s efforts, and she is looking for more to join in the near future.

Talia's ultimate goal?  To simply continue what she is doing, helping children help those in need, and to bring more schools involved in the collective effort, enabling young individuals to realize their capabilities and worth.

Go, Talia!  Amazing Kids! is honored to feature your story on our website, and we are proud of your outstanding efforts.  You are truly one inspiring and amazing kid!  Keep up the amazing work!

In Her Own Words 

Here, in an Amazing Kids! interview, is Talia's story in her own words:

AK:  What inspired you to get started doing the project or activity, Talia? 

Talia:  There is a saying that goes, "Do not stand idly by." I began RandomKid by working to raise money for hurricane relief, because I realized, after Katrina hit, that our neighbors in the gulf could not help themselves. We had to step up to help them. After that, I began noticing that there are people everywhere who can't help themselves, and as fellow humans, we have to always be in a place of taking responsibility for each other.

AK:  How did you get started?
Talia:  I got started with Katrina, and that grew into helping the homeless, people with AIDS and cancer, people without access to education, our soldiers overseas, and people without access to clean water. 

AK:  Why do you like to get other kids involved in your projects?

Talia:  The reason I help kids to help others is because I want to give them the tools and skills I gained from my first project (hurricane relief). By helping kids help others, they will know what they are capable of, and be able to use those skills all of their lives.  Plus, nothing feels better, or teaches you more about your own power and worth.

AK:  Did you have a mentor, or someone else who helped you?

Talia:  My mom was my mentor in the beginning, and then I met Anne Ginther, my adult partner at RandomKid, and Katie Scolari-Borden from UNICEF. They all have guided me and taught me so much about the needs in the world, how to really believe in myself, and how I can make a difference.

AK: What have you learned from your experiences as a RandomKid?
Talia:  "I have learned that ANYone is SOMEone.  I allow myself to think BIG, and then I take all the small steps to get there, one after the other, never stopping.  When I hit an obstacle, I see it as a wrong-way sign, and head a new way.
"For most people the biggest problem is thinking that they are only one person and one person can't make all that much difference. Well, the whole ocean is made up of single drops.  The power of ONE is understood best through Mother Theresa, who reminds us that 'the ocean would be less for that one missing drop'."

AK:  "What are your future goals?"

Talia: "My goal is to continue to help kids help others, and to continue unifying kids and schools--enabling them to realize their power and invaluable worth."

AK:  "What words of inspiration do you have for other kids who might be thinking of doing something to help others?"

Talia: "'If you think you are to small to make a difference, you haven't been in bed with a mosquito!' Anita Roddick
"There are great words everywhere to inspire you. The  main thing is just to start!  Register your goal(s) to help others on our website, or join in one of our on-going projects, and let us help you from there!"

Get Involved!

Visit the website for more information on how you can help others!

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Related Links

National River Cleanup Week Website
RandomKid website:
SkyVenture Colorado websiteU.N.I.C.E.F.:

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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:


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