Lulu Cerone first learned about social activism in kindergarten. Through service learning programs offered at school and the consistent support of her mother, she developed a deep sense of empathy and civic responsibility. That’s why at age nine, when she first heard about the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Lulu pushed past her sense of being overwhelmed by the tragedy and chose to take action. Lulu set up a competition between the boys and the girls in her grade to sell lemonade; whoever sold the most cups would be the winner. Never mind that it was January and that particular year there were non-stop rain showers! Camped under umbrellas in the baseball field, the boys were out in full force to sell lemonade and the girls pushed just as hard. In less than a month, Lulu had managed to raise $4,000.
And that was just the beginning. She also had to find out how to put the money to its best use.
Lulu founded LemonAID Warriors last summer and her National LemonAID Campaign inspired 500 lemonade stands from coast to coast. Encouraged by the power of her generation, she continues to unite kids to create change by organizing creative events she calls PhilanthroParties. For the past two years, Lulu and her friends have joined forces to change their birthday parties into a PhilanthroParties. They also raised awareness in their community by organizing a ‘water-walk’ – by going on a two mile walk carrying gallons of water, the children got a glimpse of what life might be like when water is a rare commodity.
As a result the children were able to raise enough funds to create a number of water wells in northern Rwanda. Their efforts led to villagers having access to clean water in addition to brokering peace between two tribes that had been at war for many years.
At a very young age, Lulu has become a committed change-maker inspiring children and adults alike. Here is her presentation at ECSL’s ‘Youth Voice’ meeting, which took place at Oakwood Elementary School on May 1, 2012.