AllyKatzz Review – changing the world one girl at a time

American Idol Brooke White and Lawrence Ayres of new TV show "Whatsup?"

March 13, 2010, the sun was bright on the UCLA Westwood campus as tween girls of all sizes, colors and shapes gathered for the first Allykatzz Town Council.  Started by Denise Restauri, it was a response to her own daughter, Ally, and her need to talk with other girls her own age about dreams, goals and her world.  That community grew into AllyKatzz where girls all over the world were able to join in, discuss and share life altering events.  

Risha and Rhea Shukla - Kids Who Care

All these girls had a passion to make a difference in the world.  No more were they the helpless kid, but they were young women with a desire to make things different.  The council was designed to show these girls that they were not alone and it would be history making.  The tweens could tell adults what was on their mind and even though they weren’t old enough to vote, their very presence here at AllyKatzz was enough to inspire others.  

Blakely Covin and Sam Teves - Cupcakes for Cancer

The day started at 11 am with registration and lunch and then a pep rally and keynote address.  It wasn’t going to be a boring day of adults talking down to them, but a day of tweens talking up to the adults.  The keynote speaker, Jess Weiner of Talk to Jess, writes a monthly column on body image for Seventeen Magazine and just published her second book “ Do I Look Fat in This?”

Jonathan Heit Morgan

Jodie Blum, founder and president of Image of Change brings together like minded leaders in sports, entertainment and corporate industries to support a diverse scope of empowerment programs for local communities.  Her motto that she imparted to the kids was “Never give up and always give thanks.”  

Megan Kilroy - team Marine

Many other power women were there. Some were Danielle Carrig of Lifetime Networks, Kesila Childers of Bunim Murray Productions, Tish Ciravolo of Daisy Rock Girl Guitars, Liz Dennery Sanders of Dennery Marks, Inc, Diane M. Reichenberger of, and Rosalind Wiseman, author and expert on children, teens, and parenting.  

Madisen Hill - Miss Missouri Teen and Emerald Angel Young - Tea Parties for Angels

At one pm awards were given out to boys and girls who had started their own organizations and charities that were already changing the world.  Inspired, many kids joined the causes and some even vowed to start groups on their own.  

Tyler Page - Kids Helping Kids

Some of the children who were awarded plaques for their work were Megan Kilroy of Team Marine.  Her wish is to save the oceans from being a plastic landfill and she showed it by wearing a suit of bottle caps all collected from the beach!  Others were Blakely Colvin and Sam Teves from Cupcakes for Cancer of Solvang; Ca.  Blakely, a chemo survivor herself, she hopes to make a “sweet” difference in the lives of those with cancer.  Ally Maize from the Green Youth Movement of Beverly Hills, works along the lines of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth.  

Tyler Page from Kids Helping Kids of Discovery Bay, CA, saw a story on Oprah at the age of 10 and decided to work against child slavery,  Risha Shukla of Kids Who Care Foundation of Irvine, Ca, supports kids with Pancreatitis and other chronic medical conditions.  Chelsea Genden from  One is Greater than None of Merrick, NY, rescuing and rehabilitating Ghanaian children, and Avery Hale from Step by Step of Kentfield, Ca, supplying shoes to children living high in the rocky cold of Peru.  

Brook White and young reporter, Piper Reese

Also there were Alexandra Rose Rieger of In A Perfect World, (Ca.) An actress. She encourages teens to take action and make a difference in the world.  Emerald Angel Young of Tea Party Angels, ( NY ) wants to hold tea parties to give back to those who are in need.  And Johna Rivers and Toni Gutierrez of Actionist Network (CA), having lived in the projects as a foster children, they helped others to survive.  

Sage Northcutt - Karate champion

American Idol’s Brooke White entertained the girls with her guitar and wonderful singing and then the celebrities came out speaking for their own favorite charities. Among them were Jonathan Heit Morgan from Valentine’s Day, Ana Margaret, China Anderson, Sage Northcutt, Madison Dela Garza, Genesis Codina, Trevor Brown, Isabelle Furhrman, Maidsen Hill, Bella Thorne, Stefanie Scott, Ana Maria Preez De Tagle and Adam Yrigoyen from the new Disney show Dance, Dance Chicago.  

Jermaine Crawford - Code Blue

There were those like Jermaine Crawford and his group Code Blue.  Jermaine had played a homeless teen on one of the many shows he’d been in and realized that this was for real. As a result he started his organization to help homeless teens.  Jeans supplied by Dm’ing were turned inside out and inspirational messages were written on the inside.  These jeans and the messages were then delivered to homeless teens and tweens.  

Then came the moment all the girls were waiting for. A chance to express their own feelings and tell powerful women who make decisions what was needed – in the eyes of the tweens – to change things.  

Sponsors for the day were Dove Go Fresh, JSYK, Emily the Strange books, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Sprint, and PB (Pottery Barn) Teen.  

The day was produced by Kerry Gillick Goldberg, Diane Light Wright, Corrie Wilder, Carol Altarescu and Denise Restawri.

The overall message of the day was --We believe in you, tweens. We are here to combine our energies with you and make your dreams come true.  

For more information about Allykatzz, go to www.allykatzz. com

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