American Dreamers: Extraordinary Kids Taking Charge and Making Change

By Lu Hanessian

“I think we can get so caught up in social media, we lose the bigger picture….we need to spend some time away from the screen finding our passion and pursuing it.” – Katie Stagliano, 13, Katie’s Krops

Picture this. You plant a tiny cabbage seedling. You never imagine that it will grow into a forty-pound cabbage. You don’t call Ripley’s or Guinness; you don’t want to win a contest.

You want to feed the hungry.

You donate your cabbage to a local soup kitchen, where you personally serve and feed 275 people. There, you begin to imagine feeding a whole nation.

Meet Katie Stagliano. Her goal is to wipe out hunger in America. When she won a Launch My Dream! t-shirt design contest in 2009, part of the Amazing Kids!’ Launch My Dream! initiative, she began donating proceeds from the sale of the shirt to grow gardens. She and a master gardener, mentor and a group of volunteers have planted and tend several thriving gardens, and continue to donate all produce to those in need. Now, at 13, Stagliano, founder and Chief Gardening Officer of Katie’s Krops, based in South Carolina, is a growing a dream. When she planted that first seedling just four years ago, she was nine years-old.

We are living in complex times, an increasingly fast-paced world, in a country where many children are not thriving. Lack of food, suboptimal care and family support, little or no resources or safety create chronic stress for millions of today’s youth.

In addition, growing numbers of kids are at risk of becoming alarmingly disconnected in an age of 24/7 connectivity, what some researchers are calling “overwired.” Current studies show the average American youth is spending up to eleven hours online and on their devices each day, with teens approaching four thousand texts a month.

Neuroscientists are concerned that today’s kids may actually care less because their brains are changing. According to a recent 30-year study by researchers at the University of Michigan involving 14,000 subjects, college students after the year 2000 have 40% less empathy (our capacity to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes) than their predecessors and a whopping 48% drop in sympathy (our capacity for empathic concern).

Katie Stagliano has something to say about spending hours a day online. “I know that we spend a lot of time on technology, but I think that we can get so caught up in social media, we lose the bigger picture. We get caught up in the drama. Social media is a good tool, but we also need to spend some time away from the screen finding our passion and pursuing it.”

She has clearly found hers. Her goal is to have at least one garden growing in every state across the country that will donate its whole harvest to feed the hungry.

Stagliano may be the exception, but she’s not alone.

Shannon McNamara, who, at 19, is the founder of an organization, Share In Africa, that supports students to go to (and graduate from) school in Tanzania.

Adele Taylor, 15, is empowering thousands of kids through her literacy campaign, Adele's Literacy Library.

Olivia Bouler, 13, was so distraught over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill that she donated 500 original bird paintings to the Audubon Society, wrote a book “Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf,” and has raised more than $200,000 for the organization to support the recovery of coastal birds.

Over the last few months, I’ve met and interviewed each of these young change-makers, among many others, in GBTV’s Liberty Treehouse studio in New York. During this week, we are kicking off “Project Treehouse,” our ongoing initiative to search the country for kids making a difference, to shine a light on their efforts and their causes. In this weekly segment series, we will be highlighting powerful stories of today’s youth who are taking a stand and making change in the world, offering them, in effect, a world stage on which they can share their messages of hope and purpose.

Illiteracy. Hunger. Cyberbullying. Pediatric cancer. Endangered wildlife.

One key factor I noticed in each of their stories is that these kids feel called to make a difference. They don’t want to make change in order to be leaders; they become leaders in order to create change and make a difference for others. They lead, because they believe they must.

Two potent catalysts in the individual and collective efforts of these young dreamers are their families and a growing community who are inspired to share and help fulfill their visions.

Shannon McNamara has grown up with parents who organized “family vacation service trips,” from Peru to Tanzania, where she was inspired to create SHAREinAfrica. To date, SHARE has created fully functioning school libraries and organized after-school reading programs; collected 33,000 donated books, thousands of school supplies, and dozens of used laptop computers and e-readers; installed electricity and solar power in three schools; and built a dining hall that seats more than 700 students.

“That first trip to Tanzania when I was 15 really moved me. I decided that I wanted to empower girls there to believe they can learn and do whatever they dream of doing and have access to whatever they need to realize it,” explains McNamara, who has expanded her non-profit’s mission to include a scholarship program in a country where only 5% of girls graduate from high school. She is not only empowering girls in Tanzanian schools, but also inspiring her peers.

This is how the tide turns, how kids who feel disengaged from their dreams might just realize that they do have a voice and a calling.

Bouler explains, “Every kid has this talent in them, even if they haven’t unlocked it. It’s about having the initiative to go out and try it.  Get out. Immerse yourself in nature. Go places.  Travel. Read about causes that you want to devote yourself to. Don’t look at the negative. You may miss things that captivate you.”

“Find a niche,” adds Stagliano. “Have a great time and help others at the same time. That would motivate more kids to want to make a difference. I don’t think I’m extraordinary. I think anybody can do this.”

But if anybody can, why isn’t everybody doing it?

“It’s about motivation,” she says, without hesitation. “If you have great motivation, you’re compelled and inspired to say ‘hey there’s a need and there’s something I can do.’ My cabbage was my motivation.”

To that end, Stagliano is giving out grants to other young people across the country so they can start their own vegetable gardens to donate their harvests.

These are our nation’s change agents. Young people who are showing us that it doesn’t actually take a village to raise them, but takes them to raise the village. To raise awareness and resources. To raise the bar on service. These kids may be the exception, but they’re also exceptional for their efforts, passion, determination and sense of purpose.

Not to mention their humility.

“I’m not quite sure if I’m a leader,” says Stagliano. “I couldn’t lead without all the people helping me. I have a lot of people supporting me. I couldn’t do this without them.”

Lu Hanessian is co-host of GBTV's Liberty Treehouse, author of the acclaimed book “Let the Baby Drive: Navigating the Road of New Motherhood” (2004) and "Picnic On a Cloud", award-winning journalist, former NBC anchor/host (“Real Life”; “Unsolved Mysteries”) and Discovery Health Channel host of “Make Room for Baby,” international parent educator, founder of Parent2ParentU and WYSH Wear Your Spirit for Humanity. For five years, she hosted The Science Show, syndicated in 110 countries.

​YOU made Target​ choose between profit and 'progress'

Scott Olson / Staff | Getty Images

Have you seen Target's newest pride month collection? Don't worry, you don't have to break your hard-won boycott streak to satisfy your morbid curiosity. Glenn took a look during a recent radio show. If you remember last year's display, you might be expecting horrors such as tuck-friendly bathing suits, chest binders for girls, and apparel made by a transgender Satan apologist. Fortunately, that's not what Glenn found. Instead, the collection was very tame, with one item being a charcuterie board with the phrase, "It's giving charcuterie" printed on it. So what happened? Did Target have a come-to-Jesus moment over the last year?

You. You are what happened.

The Target boycotts did exactly what they were supposed to do, they punched Target right in the wallet. According to the New York Post, Target lost a whopping TEN BILLION dollars in just ten days. You stood up for what you believed and Target had no choice but to listen. And this year's pride collection is proof that they heard you loud and clear.

"The inmates are now in charge of the asylum."

Now, this doesn't represent some change in the ethos of the company, but rather a desperate step back to protect their financial interests. The problem Target is now facing is that they don't have a whole lot of room to step back, as they have spent years cultivating a left-wing, progressive culture that really wants Target to take two steps forward instead. As Glenn said, "The inmates are now in charge of the asylum." These progressive activists within their company that they have pandered to for years don't take being told "no" very well. So when Target rolled back its pride collection, the internal backlash was immense.

Glenn's team was given access to leaked internal messaging within Target's Slack channel. The messages show the outcry of Target employees after Target announced they would be reducing the pride collection. Based on their reactions you would think they had just witnessed a national tragedy unfold. Some employees questioned if they could still work for Target after what had happened (remember, Target is still a VERY progressive company), and other employees discussed submitting ethics complaints. About a month after the internal firestorm, Target employees sent the following list of demands to leadership so that Target could atone:

  • An acknowledgment in writing, of the harm Target caused to the LGBTQ+ community.
  • A sincere apology.
  • To partner with prominent LGBTQ advocacy groups.
  • To immediately reinstate the Pride collection in full.
  • To donate to LGBTQ causes.
  • To implement sensitivity training for employees.
  • To cease all contributions to politicians and organizations that do not support the LGBTQ community.

Target has made a mistake.

By cultivating such a radical progressive community, they have placed themselves in a precarious position. On one side, there's the progressive monster they cultivated, with its ever-growing, ever-changing list of demands. On the other side, there are people like you—people who just want to shop without having to walk by transgender children's underwear. The more Target gives to the woke monster, the more they alienate their customers. Now Target is trapped—if they give in further to the woke mob, they'll lose billions of dollars, but if they don't, they'll be attacked from the inside.

So let Target serve as an example to other companies. Customers have a voice too, and when you stand up and use it, a great many things can happen.

Whatever happened to "do no harm?"

Last month, Glenn hosted a powerful Glenn TV special exposing malpractice and fudged consent standards among members in WPATH, the world's largest transgender health organization. Now that it's pride month, LGBTQ+ activists around the world are continuing their attempt to normalize life-altering transgender surgeries and hormone therapy as a legitimate option for minors experiencing gender confusion. However, as Glenn exposed in The Reckoning: Gender-Affirming Care, WPATH members are not only ideologically motivated to forego medical standards like "informed consent" to push transgender surgeries and hormone therapy on minors; they are financially incentivized to do so.

These "gender experts" are willing to bend the rules to do their dark work, and hospitals are turning a blind eye and rake in the cash. Here are 10 children's hospitals across the U.S. currently performing transgender procedures on minors:

1. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

We provide services including pubertal suppression, menstrual suppression, hormone therapy, and referrals for gender-affirming surgery.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Gender Development Clinical Services page

2. Children’s Wisconsin

The most common care plans include ongoing psychological, emotional or social support. In some cases, our services may include reversible puberty-suppressing hormone therapy, gender-affirming hormone therapy and speech/voice training

Children's Wisconsin Gender Health Clinic page

3. Connecticut Children’s Hospital

The Division of Plastic Surgery at Connecticut Children’s offers surgical options for gender affirmation to individuals who have documented and persistent gender dysphoria. Gender incongruence occurs when a person’s sex assigned at birth does not correspond to the gender with which they identify. Gender affirmation operations are a group of surgical procedures that may be appropriate for transgender and gender diverse people to help affirm their gender identity.

Connecticut Children’s Hospital Gender Affirmation Surgery page

4. Doernbecher Children’s Hospital: Oregon Health and Science University

Our clinic accepts new patients through age 18. Our pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent medicine doctors and psychologists specialize in providing team-based care for children and teens.

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital: Doernbecher Gender Services

5. Golisano Children’s Hospital; associated with the University of Rochester Medicine

Gender Health Services coordinates with other divisions and departments to provide personal comprehensive care for our youth and young adults through age 26.
-Cross-gender Hormone Therapy: Gender Health Services provides cross-gender hormone therapy. We consult as needed with Pediatric or Adult Endocrinology
-Pubertal Blockade
-Mental Health Assessment: Referrals and coordinated care
-Surgical Services: Referrals and coordination of care (as medically necessary)Gender-affirming Top -Surgery: Plastic Surgery or Breast Surgery
-Vocal Therapy: Speech Pathology

Golisano Children’s Hospital: Gender Health Services

6. NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital

We help children and their families understand and explore their identity, with the goal of helping them achieving a true and nuanced sense of self. We want children to understand and value themselves, so that they can develop the confidence to talk with others about their sexual orientation and gender identity.

NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital Gender & Sexuality Service page

7. Seattle Children’s Hospital

We accept new patients ages 9 to 17.75 at the time of referral who have already started puberty. Patients ages 17.75 and older and patients who have not yet started puberty will be directed to community resources. Our clinic primarily provides gender-affirming medical care (such as puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones).

Seattle Children’s Hospital Gender Clinic page

8. Stanford Medicine Children’s Health

This multidisciplinary clinic provides medical services for gender nonconforming youths and their families in one central location. The expert members of the Gender Clinic team consists of providers from pediatric endocrinology, adolescent medicine, pediatric urology and social services, supporting each child’s or adolescent’s gender identity. All our providers are members of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Clinic page

9. St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital

DSD (Differences in sexual development) encompasses conditions in which a person is born with sexual and/or reproductive anatomy that is not consistent with typical definitions of male or female anatomy. This may include atypical or ambiguous genitalia, unusual chromosome patterns, or differences in internal reproductive or urinary organ development. Our team provides hormonal therapy, mental health evaluation, and surgical consultations for patients with DSD.

St. Luke's Children's Essence Clinic page

10. University of Illinois Hospital

We are here to work with you to determine how to best meet your goals of external gender presentation. We want you to feel and be as prepared as possible while you take these important steps towards surgery.

University of Illinois Hospital Gender Affirming Surgery page

Why is my name on this deep state-backed Ukraine 'disinformation watch list'?

Chris Williamson / Contributor, Janos Kummer / Stringer | Getty Images

Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

On Thursday, Texty.org, a so-called independent media outlet with an editor-in-chief who has ties to the U.S. State Department, placed dozens of American politicians, activists, and media outlets — including Blaze Media and myself — on a list of those who have allegedly shared Russian disinformation and anti-Ukrainian statements. The outlet published an article titled, "Roller Coaster: From Trumpists to Communists. The forces in the U.S. impeding aid to Ukraine and how they do it."

We have a color revolution happening within our own country.

There are 75 individuals on the list with the nearly 400 entities that have opposed sending aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia. Blaze Media and I were mentioned on page 34 of a 47-page list.

The group admits it couldn’t establish direct, proven ties between most of the entities on the list and the Russian government or known Russian propagandists. Instead, it gathered “evidence” that these people and outlets have spread Russian disinformation by echoing key messages of Russian propaganda in their arguments for ending further aid to Ukraine.

Who exactly are the people behind Texty.org? Its cofounder Anatoly Bondarenko was involved in the "tech camp," a public diplomacy program established by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the State Department. The tech camp is very much part of the State Department’s efforts to foment “color revolutions” in other countries. They find “tech-savvy people” and show them how to build movements against their governments. That's what our State Department is doing. What a coincidence that the editor-in-chief and cofounder was trained by the State Department and has ties to USAID.

I did a "Glenn TV" special a few weeks ago about regime change. It's been the United States' policy for a very long time. We use covert CIA operations to go into foreign counties and influence policy, manipulate the foreign media, meddle with and topple governments. We never admit that we do these things. When asked, we say, "We didn't do that. What are you talking about?"

It begins with those in the government who want to overthrow a regime.

This strategy started with the Cold War, but nothing the CIA has pulled off comes even close to what its successor began doing: the United States government, including the CIA, NGOs, trade unions, and people like George Soros. They coordinate together to bring about color revolutions. The first one that was really successful was in the Middle East: the Arab Spring. I told my audience years ago that the Arab Spring had its roots in 20th-century communist revolutions. After the “Communist Manifesto” was written, there was the European spring, which was the communists’ attempt to overthrow all of Europe.

We've carried out color revolutions in the Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Ukraine is one of them. Here’s how they do it. The United States keeps its distance from the “dirty work” by going through NGOs and trade unions. They train and mobilize street movement — like the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots or the current pro-Palestinian protests. These movements are funded by the same people and seem to pop up every four years.

Their money and actions usually come at a time of massive civil unrest right before an election. There's some kind of government element at the top — whether it be the CIA, the State Department, or USAID — but ultimately the office of the president calls the shots.

It begins with those in the government who want to overthrow a regime, and then the operation is privatized to give it distance from those in the government who are in charge.

This is where NGOs like the National Endowment for Democracy come in. The National Endowment for Democracy is composed of four different entities: the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, and the Center for International Private Enterprise. Do you see what's happening here? It appears that the National Endowment for Democracy is composed of organizations from both sides of the aisle so it looks fair: Republican and Democrat, labor and private enterprise. But this is a bipartisan “cover story.”

Next on the food chain are the multibillion-dollar financiers and their organizations that partner in the entire operation. This is where George Soros comes in along with his organizations, the Open Society Foundations, and the Tides Foundation, which spread the message coming from the top: “Demonstrate in the streets!” They influence the media to report what the government wants to communicate to the masses.

This is the color revolution blueprint. We've done it many times, and I make the case that these same people are doing it here in America.

So, why am I on this list? I believe I'm on this list because I’m telling you exactly what’s happening.

We have a color revolution happening within our own country. Our government, NGOs, George Soros, and all the same actors used to initiate color revolutions abroad are now initiating a color revolution within the U.S.

This is what they've practiced in foreign nations, tested in 2020, and are doing right now ahead of the November presidential election. They might succeed this time because they can't have Donald Trump as president again. If he wins, you will have the government, the media, and the masses in street movements all saying that the election was illegitimate. This is how we've brought about regime change in foreign nations, and now it is being attempted on our own soil.

Top FIVE public figures calling out woke mob

Patrick McDermott / Stringer, Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff, Cooper Neill / Contributor | Getty Images

As Glenn says, there is balance in all things. The further the pendulum swings one way, the stronger the counter-force grows.

For the past decade, the pendulum has been swinging left so fast that it has been hard to keep up with. What's considered progressive and woke one day is suddenly old-fashioned and intolerant the next. Fortunately, many people (such as yourself) have seen the writing on the wall and have taken a stand against the woke mob that drags us closer and closer to tyranny, despite personal risk.

Some of these people have taken a stand despite being in the public eye, at the height of their careers, and having everything to lose. For these people, it would have been easier (not to mention more profitable) to stay quiet, keep their heads down, and do what they're told. But they didn't. Instead, they risked it all to make a stand against wokism. This is where we see the tide turning, the pendulum slowing, and perhaps starting to swing the other way. This is where we begin to take America back.

These are the top five public figures who have recently made a stand against the woke mob:

Harrison Butker

In his now famous commencement address to the graduating class of 2024 at Benedictine College, Kansas City Chief Kicker, Harrison Butker stood up for his religious values (and assumingly, the values of the students at this Catholic College). Butker criticized the president and media for perpetuating "degenerate values" and promoted traditional family values. For this, he was vilified by the media.

Jerry Seinfeld

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has come under fire for defending his values several times over the last several months. During his commencement speech at Duke University that made the rounds on the internet a few weeks ago, Seinfeld was met with protests and walkouts by the pro-Palestine crowd due to his public support of Israel. Seinfeld has also received criticism for an interview with the New Yorker during which he blamed "the extreme left and P.C. crap" for the absence of quality comedy on television.

Joe Mazzulla

The NBA finals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics are the hot sporting event at the moment. The head coach of the Celtics, Joe Mazzulla, is an outspoken Catholic and speaks frequently about his faith. In a recent interview, Mazzulla was asked if he felt that it was significant that the head coaches for both teams were black, to which he responded "I wonder how many of those have been Christian coaches?"

Aaron Rodgers

NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers caught flack in 2021 for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine and going on air to defend his decision. He also criticized "woke culture" for being so easily offended. Rodgers has admitted that he lost money, friends, and media allies on a podcast with Joe Rogan since becoming outspoken about his beliefs. Rogers has continued to be vocal over issues concerning the vaccine and has championed other athletes who have spoken against vaccination.

Russell Brand

UK actor and comedian Russell Brand has faced recent criticism from the mainstream media for speaking his mind on several controversial issues. Brand started during the pandemic when he began posting videos on his YouTube channel that were critical of the way governments across the world were handling the crisis. Since then, Brand has defended his stance on COVID-19, called out woke corporations, and even converted to Christianity.