Focused on providing free humane education for 30 years, Animal Hero Kids recognized compassionate kids with compelling stories of courage at the 2nd annual Animal Hero Kids Awards Show on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Hosted at the MUSE School, a nonprofit founded by Suzy Amis-Cameron and Rebecca Amis, entertainment mogul and animal rights activist Russell Simmons and Animal Hero Kids Founder Susan Hargreaves honored the winners of five award categories.
The winners, who traveled from various parts of the country to attend, were recognized for exhibiting extraordinary acts of kindness in helping animals – including a teen who rescued a dog and disabled man from a burning apartment and a young radio show host who produces a weekly show about cruelty-free vegan lifestyle and animal rights.
“Animal Hero Kids Awards are important so that kids learn compassion and connection to their true spirits – which are compassionate. If we connect our heart to the animals, then we will make more conscious decisions every single time. And so, just to internalize that your life and the animal’s life are the same, it’s possible to feel connected to the animals and all living beings,” shared Simmons.
Other celebrity guests included Renee Olstead, Sierra McCormick, and Bonnie-Jill Laflin, whom all shared their passion and enthusiasm in promoting the importance of animal rights within society.
Winners and categories included:
The Russell Simmons Creative Animal Hero Kids Award (two winners)
Carlo Filippini, Sante Filippini and Alex Johnson, 13, of Philadelphia, Pa., spent four hours caged in their elementary school’s lobby to demonstrate the cruel confinement of circus animals: video.
Canadian Jasmine Polsinelli, 12, speaks out against the fur industry and created a video on YouTube, “The Truth About Trapping,” to educate people about the horrors of the fur industry. Jasmine started a change.org petition urging the CEO of Canada Goose to meet with her to discuss fur alternatives: article.
Animal Hero Kids School Hero to All Award
MUSE School received the award for becoming the first school in the United States, beginning in 2015, to implement an all plant-based menu in its cafeteria: article.
The Paul McCartney Animal Hero Kids Young Veg Advocate Award (two winners)
Kevin Storm, 13, of Sewell, N.J., has his own radio show promoting a cruelty-free vegan diet and animal rights. Kevin is New Jersey’s youngest radio show host: article.
Genesis Butler, 7, of Long Beach, penned a poem, “My Vegan Dream,” inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and read it in front of her school’s second grade classes and families: video.
The Ricky Williams Animal Hero Kids Teen Award
Latrell McCockran, 14, of Fairfield, made national headlines for risking his life to save a disabled man and dog from a burning building: video.
Animal Hero Kids Kind to All Award (two winners)
Rose McCoy, 13, made national headlines after she was arrested for protesting the SeaWorld float in the Rose Parade in Pasadena in January: article.
Simone Reyes received the Kind to All Award in the adult category. Reyes is an avid animal rights activist, vegan, and reality star. Devoted to animal protection, she served as a volunteer Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian for Operation Infinite Patience, to document and publicize the inhumane capture and slaughter of entire pods of wild dolphins in Taiji, Japan, as depicted in the Academy Award-winning documentary, “The Cove” (2009).
All award recipients are featured in the newly published book, “Animal Hero Kids Voices for the Voiceless,” authored by Animal Hero Kids founder and executive director Susan Hargreaves. The book gives thanks for all of the courageous and compassionate Animal Hero Kids and teens aiding animals in crisis.
For more information about Animal Hero Kids awards, click here.