Local 9-Year-Old Selected for National Kids Council

The Week Junior, the only weekly newsmagazine that reports news directly to kids 8-14, is pleased to announce its second Junior Council, and an incredible nine-year-old from Orlando has been chosen to join the national kids council, a collective of “Generation Alpha’s most passionate, vocal young leaders.” Emma F. is one of 12 kids selected from thousands of applicants from across the nation. The Week Junior editors were wowed by her passion for helping others and making a change in the world.

Emma, a “self-described night-owl” and aspiring journalist, likes to stay up past her bedtime to read. Emma told The Week Junior, “I have always been a feminist. I believe women and girls are just as good as men and boys.”




Emma and the rest of Junior Council will have the opportunity to work alongside The Week Junior’s editors and with a group of noteworthy mentors on reporting projects for the magazine. They’ll hear from guest speakers, work on research and writing assignments, and learn how to turn their ideas into action.

“When we launched Junior Council last year, we were amazed and impressed by the incredible response we saw from kids across the country who are passionate about making a positive difference in their communities,” said Andrea Barbalich, Editor-in-Chief of The Week Junior. “We’re excited to welcome this second class of Junior Council members and look forward to helping them share their views, be a voice on behalf of their peers, engage in healthy debate, and use their words and ideas to make an impact on the world.”

Selected from hundreds of applicants, the fall 2021 Junior Council includes 12 incredible kids, ages 8 to 13, from 11 states across the country, representing the diversity of ideas, interests, and beliefs in this generation of American children:

  • Madeline (8, Palo Alto, CA) Madeline is passionate about the environment, “especially the bees, the flowers, and the trees.” She believes kids’ voices need to be heard “because we care about the truth and the future.”

  • Leo (8, Charlotte, NC) Fascinated by history, Leo enjoys talking to his older family members about their ancestors so he can learn about how their personal stories line up with historical events.

  • Florence (9, Washington, DC) Florence is a dancer and a singer who studies ballet and Afro-Beats at Jones Haywood, a historically African-American school of dance. She has also performed with the National Children’s Choir.

  • Thomas (9, Palmetto, GA) Thomas loves music, sports, and farming. In fact, Thomas has a farming business he started with a friend. “I bring people together with my food,” he says.

  • Lucas (9, Plainfield, NJ) Lucas is a compassionate child who loves to read novels. “Reading takes me to a new world,” he says. He likes to play basketball, and he admires James Harden—both for his athletic ability and his approach to teamwork.

  • Emma F. (9, Orlando, FL) A “self-described night-owl” and aspiring journalist, Emma likes to stay up past her bedtime to read. Emma says, “I have always been a feminist. I believe women and girls are just as good as men and boys.”

  • Yair (10, Overland Park, KS) Yair has been performing for four years as a Shakespearean actor— this year, he played four roles in two productions of The Tempest. “I love getting into character: learning lines, making costumes—it’s so much fun.”

  • Aayan (10, Menomonee Falls, WI) Aayan, who was born with clubfoot, credits his surgeon and therapist with helping him become one of the fastest runners in his class. He is a Cub Scout who enjoys hiking, donating food to the local food pantry, and packing gifts for veterans at Christmastime.

  • CC (11, Haines, AK) CC describes herself as “a big reader.” She has 383 books. She is excited to share her ideas in a place where other kids will listen and learn about ideas other kids think are important. “We are the ones who are going to change the world.”

  • Alexandra (11, Houston, TX) Alexandra is passionate about education—particularly for children who are living in poverty. Alexandra loves to paint landscapes and nature.

  • Emma D. (12, Dubuque, IA) Emma is the oldest of five siblings, and her favorite activities are volleyball, reading, and acting. She loves to learn and try new things.

  • Aarav (13, Gainesville, VA) Aarav likes math because “you can find solutions if you use logic and recognize patterns.” When it comes to solving world problems, he has ambitious goals.

This fall, Junior Council members will meet with editors and mentors twice a month to dive into the issues of the day, engage in debate, hear from guest speakers, receive hands-on editorial lessons, and ultimately work on creating content for The Week Junior magazine. Junior Council members will develop skills in both journalism and activism, learning how to turn the issues they care about into story ideas and action steps and encourage others to do the same.

The inaugural Junior Council took place from January to July. Together, council members identified issues and identified actions they would take to rectify them. All Junior Council members contributed to a section of The Week Junior about things kids can do to help protect the environment, and one member interviewed former First Lady Michelle Obama as part of a press tour for her Netflix series Waffles + Mochi.

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