Young girls walking a dogAs an editor of Ranger Rick, I am lucky enough to write about amazing kids month after month–kids who are doing awesome things to make the planet a better place. I profile these young people for the magazine’s news column called the “Buzz.”

Here is just a sampling of young people I’ve recently written about and why I believe in the power of youth!

Amazing Kid # 1: Addison is a boy whose family often “fosters” greyhounds, taking in these dogs whose careers at  racetracks are over and finding them new homes. But not long ago, Addison and his parents fell in love with one of the dogs named Nocchi and kept him. (This is allowed!)  Addison took the pooch to obedience classes where the dog excelled at basic commands, such as “heel,” sit,” and “stay.” Soon after completing basic training, Nocchi was ready to learn how to become a therapy dog, so he and Addison could visit nursing homes and give the residents a dash of four-legged charm and sweetness.  Team Addison and Nocchi proved to be a great team with a knack for greeting nursing home residents.

“Nocchi always makes the people there smile,” says Addison. “That makes me feel like I’m doing something really good!”

Amazing Kid #2: Kaycee is another dog-lover. She takes in puppies who will become future companions of the blind. She keeps each pup for up to 18 months, helping to train and acclimate it to all sorts of situations, from school playgrounds to busy shopping malls and streets.

“Raising a guide dog takes a lot of time and effort,” says Kaycee. “But it’s fun, and I’m happy I can help.”

Amazing Kid #3: Orren happens to be a chicken-loving boy. He is totally into raising chickens in a humane way. He shows his prize fowl off at county fairs and sells their eggs. (He doesn’t kill the chickens for meat.) He also uses his Website to actively speak out against cruel livestock farming practices and participates in conferences on the subject.

When asked why he loves chickens especially, he says “They all have personalities, likes, and dislikes. I have one hen, Paprika, who is The Boss. I generally do whatever she says.”

These are just a few of the great kids I get to “meet” and interview. There’s hope for our world with such inspiring human beings coming of age!