6 Amazing & Inspiring Kids Who Made 2011 Better

Down Syndrome Homecoming QueenSo often we hear about the bullying and the drugs, the violence and the thugs when we hear about kids. The headlines are filled with stories of the bad choices reckless youth make that make us fear for their futures and that of this country.

But they are the exception, I believe. For every one of them, there's another who is doing extraordinary, amazing things. The good ones don't always get as much time in the sensational-seeking spotlight, but they are the ones who inspire us as parents, that let us know how brilliant and resourceful and kind our kids can be and are. Here are six kids who did amazing things in 2011 that you might not know about, but should.


1. Down Syndrome Teen Crowned Homecoming Queen 

In October, Mariah Slick was elected Homecoming Queen of her high school in Azle, Texas. Not only was it a true testament to her amazing positive attitude and team spirit, but also a wonderful statement about her classmates who recognized that and realized what an honor it would be for her. Watching the video of her getting the crown proves they knew what they were doing.

2. Quick Thinking 11-Year-Old Saves Sister From Kidnapper

When a man attempted to steal the car in which Jonah Yano, 11, and his 9-year-old sister were sitting, Jonah wasn't about to let him get away with it. Instead he put his martial arts skills to work and pinned the 35-year-old perpetrator. Reading this story totally reaffirmed our decision to let my son take jiu jitsu classes.

3. Baby Supermodel Defies Down Syndrome Limitations

Taya Kennedy is taking the modeling world by storm. The 14-month-old and her parents haven't let the fact that she has Down Syndrome stop her, nor is it the reason that she's been so successful. She's achieved her success on her own beautiful, bubbly accord and is such a great example of us seeing people for who they are, not only their limitations.

4. Inspiring 7-Year-Old Reminds Us 'Tis Better to Give Than to Receive

While other kids his age were writing up Christmas lists of things they want for themselves, Bradley Thomas was busy raising money to get things for a family struck by tragedy. By doing odd jobs for neighbors, he earned more than $300 to buy gifts for the children of a family who lost everything to a fire. I hope Santa is very, very good to Bradley this year.

5. 6-Year-Old Hero Saves Boys From Vicious Dog Attack

When a vicious dog started attacking his 4-year-old brother and a young neighbor boy, Timo Perez did what many adults might be afraid to do -- he fought the dog. Selflessly taking the bites himself, he saved the other boys. Though he received cuts on his body and head and required a couple of days of hospitalization, he said it was worth it for his brother.

6. Bravest 9-Year-Old Ever Has Her Own Mom Arrested

Back in February, a 9-year-old girl walked into a Michigan bank and handed a teller a note stating that her mom was too drunk to drive and that she needed help. That kind of bravery at such a young age was remarkable and may very well have saved her life. Hopefully her actions were also the wake-up call her mother needed to turn her life around.

What kind of inspiring kids do you know?

Image via ABC

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