Katie Eder USA, 17
project: Kids Tales
basic human NEEDS: Education
Theme Song: "Oh, the Thinks you can Think" from Seussical the Musical
Eager to share her passion for writing, Katie developed a summer workshop for children without learning opportunities beyond the school year. At end of her first class, a girl thanked Katie for helping her express her feelings about her parents’ divorce. Determined to help others find their voices, Katie founded Kids Tales when she was 13 years old. Kids Tales is a nonprofit that teaches underserved kids around the world to write creatively, and publishes their stories as an annual anthology. More than 500 children have gone through the program in eight U.S. cities, Canada, Brazil and Guatemala. In 2015, Katie received the AFS Project: Change Vision and Action Award, which led to a partnership with AFS to teach Kids Tales workshops in Colombia, South America and a refugee camp in Hungary.
Many kids who go through the program have endured unimaginable experiences, and Katie aims to empower each of them to achieve more and to give back to their own communities. As the youngest person on the International Literacy Association’s “30 Under 30” list, Katie is recognized among others from 13 countries as changing the global literacy landscape. After graduating high school, she plans to spend a gap year expanding Kids Tales and continuing to inspire youth to find their voices and influence the world.