2. BEST SMILE: Andreea
What’s behind a grin this big? Sponsorship! Andreea Tiron and her four siblings live with their parents in the impoverished rural village of Vulturesti, Romania. As a sponsored child, she receives essentials such as warm clothing, food, and blankets from World Vision — and letters from her sponsor. Now that’s worth smiling about. You can sponsor a child at http://www.WorldVision.org/. ©2013 LAURA REINHARDT/WORLD VISION
3. MOST ARTISTIC: Badal
Nine-year-old Badal beams as he shows off his newest drawing, a still life of an apple and banana. (His smile is so radiant that he’s our runner up in the “Best smile” category.) A sponsored child, Badal is one of 12 children who attend weekly classes at World Vision’s center for children with special needs in North West Delhi, India — and he’s often the life of the group. Badal’s bubbly personality translates into colorful drawings, free-spirited dancing, and lots of laughter with his friends at the center. ©2014 ANNILA HARRIS/WORLD VISION
4. BEST DRESSED: William
Originally under consideration for “Most Likely to be seen at Carnegie Hall” — he plays a mean violin — William Alexander Subuyuj’s crisp black bowtie convinced us otherwise. The 5-year-old Guatemalan looks dapper and ready to perform in a white, button-down shirt, on-trend short haircut, and his best accessory: confidence. ©2013 LAURA REINHARDT/WORLD VISION
5. BEST FRIENDS (GIRLS)
Best friends are by your side through thick and thin. And there are few places where a girl could use a friend more than in a refugee camp — someone to walk with, to talk with, and to look out for each other. These two girls, Syrian refugees living in Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, left their lives in Syria behind: school, friends, and family. Thankfully, a friend can be found most anywhere. ©2013 JON WARREN/WORLD VISION
6. BEST FRIENDS (BOYS)
So close that they walk everywhere arm in arm, these boys in Rwanda are hands-down winners. The best friends have big dreams: Sibomana, 5, hopes to become a lawyer; Ndayisenga, 5, a teacher; Kidamage, 5, a policeman; and Nsengiyunva, 6, a doctor. ©2012 KARI COSTANZA/WORLD VISION
7. MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: Selvin
In Yamaranguila, Honduras, Selvin Garcia skyrocketed from member of the kids’ Sanitation Committee to spokesperson for his community. One of the most articulate 12-year-olds we know, Selvin uses his handmade model of Yamaranguila to explain the before- and after-effects of World Vision’s work — most likely practice for future presentations to world leaders and heads of state. ©2013 LAURA REINHARDT/WORLD VISION
8. MOST ATHLETIC: Rinchen
Thirteen-year-old Rinchen swept the competition with a bronze medal in India’s West Bengal state subjunior kickboxing championships, so the “Most athletic” distinction is another knockout. But for Rinchen, kickboxing isn’t just a recreational sport. It’s protection. Two years ago, a man in her village tried to sexually assault her. She was able to escape unharmed because of what she learned in World Vision’s child rights workshops, children’s club, and other trainings in child protection and safety education — including kickboxing. Girl power! ©2014 DANIEL MUNG/WORLD VISION
9. FUTURE CEO: Absi
Tenacious and resourceful, 10-year-old Absi hustles to earn money for his mother and sister, who are refugees from Syria, living in Irbid, Jordan. Thanks to a caring teacher, Absi is now back in school and only working part-time at a local garage, where he valets vehicles for business owners and other customers. When he finishes school in a few years, we’re confident that his combined business acumen and education will make him unstoppable. ©2013 JON WARREN/WORLD VISION
10. FUTURE PULITZER PRIZE-WINNER: Khorlo
Stop the presses — we’ve found our future journalist. Khorlo Baatar, 13, is a member of World Vision’s Child Journalist Club in Bayankhongor, Mongolia. In addition to learning the basics of news reporting, writing, and photography, Khorlo and her fellow club members discover their unique talents and use them to help other children. Among their achievements: a weekly TV program, a film documentary, and dozens of essays and news stories. ©2013 TOGTOKHBAYAR DORJPALAM/WORLD VISION
11. MOST SCHOOL SPIRIT
With gusto, these four pupils at World Vision’s Child-Friendly Space in Jessore, Bangladesh, belt out the country’s national anthem at the beginning of each school day. Their tidy orange and blue uniforms almost earned them the “Best dressed” award, but we couldn’t resist their enthusiastic singing. All four boys are sons of women who work in a brothel just across the alley from the school. But here in this safe place, they are cared for and loved — and they can sing as loud as they like. ©2013 JON WARREN/WORLD VISION
12. FUTURE POET LAUREATE: Haya
Haya’s natural talent for self-expression through song and poetry is on display as the 10-year-old Syrian refugee reads aloud a song she penned herself. Haya and her family live in Irbid, Jordan; sadly, the current conflict in her home country is the inspiration for her heartbreaking song. We hope someday soon Haya’s songs will celebrate her family’s return to Syria. ©2013 JON WARREN/WORLD VISION
13. FUTURE DOCTOR: Wadson
Wadson Blessings certainly aims to live up to his last name. A first year student at Malawi’s College of Medicine, Wadson, 18, is well on his way to achieving his dream of becoming a doctor. As a child, he was sponsored through World Vision, whose support propelled him through secondary school and into higher education. Wadson is already an inspiration — and a blessing — to children in his home village. ©2014 CHARLES KABENA/WORLD VISION
14. MOST LIKELY TO PERFORM AT CARNEGIE HALL: Monica
The next principal flute at the New York Philharmonic? We wouldn’t be surprised. With daily practice, Monica Aquino, 21, fills her home in Guatemala with beautiful melodies. And she’s already paying her talent forward: The former sponsored child currently gives music lessons to other burgeoning musical prodigies in her hometown. ©2013 LAURA REINHARDT/WORLD VISION
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