Amazing Kid: Olivia Bouler

Filed under: Amazing Kids

Olivia Bouler sits at her desk drawing birds to raise money for the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: Nadine Bouler


Amazing Kid: Olivia Bouler
Age: 11
Grade: 6th
Home Town: Islip, N.Y.
School: Islip Middle School, Islip, N.Y.
Favorite Ice Cream: Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake Dough ("A weird, crazy mix I did once.")

Why Olivia Is Amazing: If you tuned in to the news last spring surrounding the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, odds are you heard mention of Olivia Bouler, 11. The then-fifth-grader who turned her artistic talents into badly needed money to help care for the birds of the area after the disaster.

Olivia, a bird-lover and aficionado, was so upset after hearing about the spill and the resulting threat to birds that she wrote a letter to nature conservation organization Audubon offering to draw pictures of birds and donate the proceeds to the group.

"It was just so heart wrenching," Olivia tells ParentDish. "I couldn't just sit there, so I wrote a letter to Audubon saying I wanted to help. It really moved Audubon's hearts so they decided I would do 500 original drawings."

And, so, Olivia's momentous "Save the Gulf" campaign was launched, garnering tons of media attention and an incredible number of sales and outright donations which, to date, total about $200,000.

With that feat under her belt, Olivia is now involved in another project -- she is working on "Olivia's Birds," a book with Sterling Publishing, which is a collection of about 100 of her bird drawings, representing all different species and including facts about each of them.

The book will be released in April 2011, to mark the first anniversary of the Gulf oil spill and in honor of Earth Day.

As for the future, Olivia seems to have a pretty solid plan in place.

"I want to go to Cornell (University) and I want to be an ornithologist and work for Audubon," she says. "That would be awesome."

Recent Recognition: ASPCA Humane Awards 2010 Kid of the Year; Animal World 2010 Youth Leadership Award; 2010 People magazine Hero; honored as a 2010 AOL Artist; named a Disney Friends for Change spokesperson; named a Hometown Hero by New York Congressman Steve Israel; honored by Islip, N.Y. town board; profiled as one of CNN's Breakthrough Women.

Olivia's Best Advice to Kids: Anything's possible, and I'm here to prove that you can make a difference. If you dream and believe in yourself and you don't get deterred by little problems in the road, you can really ride the road to opportunities.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.