Children First Speaker Series: Kid Power Panel

December 11, 2015

Matt Meyersohn (U.S. Fund for UNICEF), Tom Crohan (John Hancock), Elsa Roderick (Cambridge Public Schools), Jaelyn Bean (Kid Power Champion) and Rajesh Anandan (U.S. Fund for UNICEF) participated in a discussion about UNICEF Kid Power.

Kid and Power. Two everyday words that, when combined together, have the ability to create a unique and exciting kind of magic. Kid Power – two words that come together to perform a dual function: 1) It mobilizes kids to get active, with the use of the UNICEF Kid Power Band. Using the band, kids can go on missions in third world countries via their computers, and earn points. 2) These points unlock funding from partners, parents and fans, and are used by UNICEF to deliver lifesaving packets of therapeutic food to severely malnourished children around the world. Simply put, the more kids move, the more points they earn, and the more lives are saved. It’s a win-win for everyone, right, and the best part? It gives kids the power to save lives, and kids all over the country are stepping up and assuming that responsibility.

One such kid is Jaelyn Bean, a delightful and dedicated 3rd grade student at the Morse School in Cambridge. Jaelyn, her teacher, Elsa Roderick (who by the way, had one of the most active classes in the Boston area last year); Rajesh Anandan, Co-Creator of UNICEF Kid Power and Senior V.P., Strategic Partnerships and UNICEF Ventures at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF; Tom Crohan, Assistant V.P. & Counsel, Corporate Responsibility & Government Relations, John Hancock Life Insurance Company; and Matt Meyersohn, Managing Director of Sports and Kid Power Partnerships, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, were all part of an illustrious panel on November 18th at a special luncheon at the Hampshire House in Boston.

There was a lot of animated and energetic discussion about the Kid Power program that day, all of it good and all of it encouraging. The panelists all agreed that the program has changed the lives of the kids who are actively involved in it.  In effect, it has enabled children with an American viewpoint to think and act globally. These bands allow children to change their lifestyles and do something inherently good for kids their own age on the other side of the world. How many programs out there perform such a worthy dual function?

Matt Meyersohn said that the activity level of the children involved in the program is having an impact worldwide. Now that’s a win-win situation if ever I’ve heard one.


Written by Lorraine Nelson, U.S. Fund for UNICEF New England Board Member