Ever really listened to an 11-year-old? They're a fascinating mix between a child and an adult.
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What happens when you let 11-year-olds across the world talk about their lives, loves, family, country, even their world?

11 years is, in some respects, an incredibly long time to be on this earth. At the same time, it's just the beginning of so much more. For just a few years, they're perched at the jump-off point from childhood to adulthood. It's like they're right between things.

There is a really beautiful project that ended up as a full movie called "I Am Eleven." The movie's creator (and Editor, Producer, Director) Genevieve Bailey, said about the making of it:


“With so much more information available at their fingertips now than we had when I was young, I wondered, are 11-year-olds still happy and excited about inheriting this crazy world? Are they having as much fun as I did when I was 11? Are they hopeful?"

She toured the globe, talking to 11-year-olds who had something to say about their life, their country, their world.


As the filmmaker wrote in a blog post about the movie, "I believe that too often we as a culture focus on what adults can teach children, without acknowledging what we can also learn from young people."

Some answers to the world's problems might just be lodged in the heads of youths like these.

In fact, one mother came up to Bailey after seeing the film and responded, "It's like a parenting book written by children."

And one 11-year-old girl wanted to say something to the filmmaker at an international premiere of the film in Cleveland, Ohio.

"What you have done is very interesting. Most documentary filmmakers choose to show us what is going wrong in the world, but you have chosen to show us what is going right. As kids we want to know about the good stuff!"

Kids are kids the world over. And 11-year-olds are ... just that. They have similar worries and things that make them happy, and they frequently don't see the kinds of divisions and walls that we do as adults. And that's a beautiful thing.

Raising a child to the ripe old age of 11 is hard work.

Based on what these 11-years-old-on-the-edge-of-adult kids have to say, their parents did a lot of things right.

Magical.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.