November 11, 2016

Children's Museum Honors Children Making An Impact

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Power of Children award winner Rahil Thanawala works with his grandmother Dayaben Thakker on the Alzheimer's app he developed.

Power of Children award winner Rahil Thanawala works with his grandmother Dayaben Thakker on the Alzheimer's app he developed.

INDIANAPOLIS - The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’s annual Power of Children Awards were presented this week in Indianapolis. Five young people (three of them from central Indiana) are the latest to be honored with the award that acknowledges innovative efforts to improve the lives of others.

The five winners had ideas that ranged from providing bicycles so African and Indian children can get to school to a fashion show for homeless women.

15-year old, Rahil Thanawala wanted to help his grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer's, remember her family back in India. So he developed a picture puzzle game and an app to help her, and potentially other people with Alzheimer’s, retain their memory. Listen to Rahil's complete story here

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis's Director of Volunteer Services Director Debbie Young says the children who are being awarded have met certain qualifications. 

"All of these kids have seen a need, made a project to fill that need," says Young, "figured out how to achieve that and then made an impact." 

There have been 59 winners and they are honored in a chestnut tree display at the Children’s Museum’s Power of Children exhibit. The exhibit features young people like Ryan White and Anne Frank, who have made a considerable mark on history. 

Young says adults who realize the difference these young people are making - are inspired.

"They're like 'Oh my gosh. I got to get out and do something'." says Young, "'Because as an adult I should be able to make more of an appeal and these kids are doing it.'"

The contest is open to national contestants.  This is the 12th year for the award. 

The 2016 winners, listed by grade at the time of nominations, are: 

Cameron Northern, Grade 8, Martinsville, Indiana - Raising money and supplies for orphaned children in Africa whose familes have been devestated by AIDS. 

Anthony OLeary, Grade 9, San Diego, California - Working to raise money and recruit more caring adults to be court advocates for foster children.

Julia Robinson, Grade 7, Indianapolis, Indiana - Organized a fashion show for women at a homeless shelter.

Rahil Thanawala, Grade 9, Fishers, Indiana - Developed an picture app to help his grandmother and others suffering from Alzheimer's disease. 

Renita Zaparde, Grade 11, Plainsboro, New Jersey - Started a non profit to provide bicycles to orphaned girls in Africa and India to get to school. 


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