Tag Archive | inspirational teenager

Homeless Boy Wins $130,000 Peace Prize

The obstacles seemed insurmountable for a 13-year-old Filipino street kid. Forced to scavenge for his survival from the age of 2, sleep in a coffin and run away to seek help after he was badly injured, Cris “Kesz” Valdez had every reason to merely look out for himself.

But at age 7, he started a foundation, the Championing Community Children charity, to help fellow homeless kids, and his selfless work has been recognized with the $130,000 Children’s Peace Prize.

You are wonderful,” Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu told the young philanthropist at a ceremony at The Hague. According to the KidsRights Foundation, Cris has helped about 10,000 kids by distributing flip-flops, toys, sweets and clothes in Cavite City, just 18 miles south of the capital Manila.

“My message to children around the world is not to lose hope,” he said. Cris also wants to educate them on good hygiene and their rights.  The prize money will go to fund charities of his choosing. Cris would like to get an education and eventually become a doctor.

Cris’s plight is not unique in his country. About 246,000 street children in the Philippines are subjected to abuse, violence and child labor.

source: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/homeless-boy-wins-130-000-peace-prize-142221812.html

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.


Paralyzed Teen Fulfills Vow to Walk at High School Graduation

When I read stories like the one below, I am thankful I don’t wear makeup, because the tears are inevitable. With so many negative stories in the media on a daily basis, inspirational stories like this one, should give everyone reading it, hope – that if  you push through, you can accomplish miracles. Congratulations on your graduation and meeting your goal, Patrick!

BTW, I uploaded a video about his service dog, Ricochet, to this blog back in March 2011 🙂 https://myforkedroad.wordpress.com/?s=ricochet


By KATIE KINDELAN | Good Morning America 

A dream 17 years-in-the-making came true for a California boy when he got out of his wheelchair and walked to accept his high school diploma.

Patrick Ivison, a senior at Scripps High School in San Diego, was just 14-months-old when he was run over by a stranger’s car while walking with his mom, Jennifer Kayler. The September 1995 accident left Ivison with a spinal cord injury so severe he was paralyzed from the waist down.

After six weeks in the hospital, Ivison was sent home in a wheelchair. The family’s life was changed forever, but they kept their spirits high.

“I was just grateful. I was grateful he was with me,” Kayler told local ABC affiliate ABC10. “I was grateful that I get to hear him laugh and the fact that he was going to be in a wheelchair didn’t matter.”

Ivison kept the same attitude as his mom and transformed his disability into a capability. He learned to kayak, ski , hand-cycle marathon-length distances, play rugby and even surf, using adaptive equipment to ride the waves. His passion for surfing took him to Costa Rica twice to film a surf documentary and to the competitive U.S. Open of Surfing for five consecutive years, according to his family’s website.

Three years ago Ivison focused in on another goal, walking across the stage to accept his diploma at his high school graduation. He spent as many as six hours per day in intensive physical therapy in a California-based rehabilitation program called “Project Walk” to build his muscles and increase his coordination.

“I’m actually pretty nervous. There’s going to be a lot of pressure,” Ivison said in the weeks before the big day, as reported by his mom on the family’s blog.

On Tuesday night, in front of a cheering crowd of his classmates, teachers, friends and family members, Ivison had nothing to worry about.

Video of the ceremony shows Ivison standing up and, aided by his trainer and a custom-made walker, walking to accept his degree. Also walking next to Ivison was his service dog, Ricochet, who received his own special award for helping his owner through high school.

Ivison, who graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average, plans to attend the University of Southern California’s film school, his “dream school,” in the fall. Don’t be surprised to see another story about him in four years.

“Maybe do like jumping jacks at college graduation or something like that?” he told ABC10 of his next goal. “I don’t know… let’s not put that for sure because I can’t commit to that one.”

Watch Patrick’s testimony about the accident that paralyzed him, his challenges and the importance of checking the “blind zone” on vehicles, before backing up.

High School Student Overcomes Hunger and Homelessness to Graduate

By Bernard Watson


Frederick Dukes may be a teenager, but he is wise beyond his years.

“A lot of people talk about doing things, but you can’t talk about it. You can’t think about it. You can only just go and do it,” said Dukes, a senior at Washington Senior Academy.

For the last two years Dukes has been homeless and often hungry.

“I’m still a high school student. Even though I am dealing with the hardships of adults, I am still a young man and teenager at the moment in time,” Dukes said.

When Duke’s stepmom moved back to North Carolina, he decided to stay in Atlanta.

He said that meant living the life of a nomad.

Friends and later faculty have helped, but it hasn’t always been enough.

“My lowest moment over the last two years was this Christmas break when it was cold and I didn’t have anywhere to stay,” said Dukes.

Despite all the hardships, Dukes will graduate from one of the top schools in the state.

“I knew if I didn’t stay on myself, nobody would. If I didn’t care, nobody else would care. If I didn’t help myself, nobody else would help me,” said Dukes.

“It’s pretty amazing when students go back and reflect and pretty much talk about who inspires them, but students like Frederick Dukes inspire me,” said Tiauna Crooms, the principal of Washington Senior Academy.

“Your environment is not what makes you. Who you are is what you do and the decisions you make is what makes you who you are,” Dukes said.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

source (and video): http://www.wafb.com/story/18312118/high-school-student-overcomes-hunger-and-homelessness-to-graduate