Meet Courage to Be Kind Medallion recipient, 12-year-old, Kenikki, better known as Kindly Kenikki. Truly the baby of the bunch, her closest sibling just turned 21. Her mom explains, “We thought we were done having children. She was due July 4th. I went into labor March 23rd. I was hospitalized until it was safe to deliver on May 30th. She was born with two holes in her heart, but you’d never know it. She had one plugged and the other closed on its own. We say it’s plugged with glitter.”
Kenikki goes beyond the sparkle, though, this girl SHINES! For the past three years she has dedicated herself to charity and community efforts that help bring people together. It all started when Kenikki became aware of the water problems in Flint, Michigan. She was confused and upset that the children did not have clean water to take care of their basic needs. She talked her parents into allowing her to ask for water donations in the communities surrounding her home in Sicklerville. Eventually Kenikki had spearheaded a massive water drive for the families of Flint and her dad drove over 2000 cases of water twice to Michigan!
Kenikki started hosting peanut butter and jelly sandwich making parties at her house to help feed the hungry. She even helped start a friendly competition between her town’s Police and Fire Departments. Kenikki also is a Camden County 4H Teen Council member. She started a book club called “The Page Turners” which meets at her local Panera Bread. Kenikki also wanted to encourage communication among her peers so she started “Board not Bored”, a game night where they play various board games and put all technology devices away. Kenikki collects gently used dance apparel and shoes for children in impoverished countries and calls this program “Do it for the Dancer.”
Kenikki loves writing and sponsors her own essay contests. One contest was for anti-bullying where the prize winner was able to attend a Halloween party at Sweet & Sassy. Her most recent essay contest asked young people to write about what they have learned about life by playing with dolls. The winner received a huge dollhouse. Kenikki was very proud of this one because the winner donated the doll house to another child.
Most recently, she partnered with her friend Mitchell Savitsky to donate over 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to local deserving kids. Kenikki is a proud recipient of the Kenny Suttner Award. The award was named for Kenny Suttner of Columbia, Missouri who took his life following bullying at school and work. Kenikki firmly takes a stand against bullying and emphasizes the importance of standing up for the person being bullied. Kenikki is also an Honor Student at Winslow Township Middle School. She juggles her community efforts with performing in plays, cabarets and working towards her dream of performing on Broadway. Kenikki plans to open community arts centers in areas where underprivileged children can have the opportunity to express themselves through song, dance and theatre.
Kenikki, YOU are a #worldchanger!
Keep shining your bright light!
You are an inspiration for us all!