If your image of a philanthropist is a stout, gray geezer, then meet Talia Leman, an eighth grader in Iowa who loves soccer and swimming, and whose favorite subject is science. I’m supporting her for president in 2044.

When Talia was 10 years old, she saw television clips of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and decided to help. She galvanized other kids and started a movement to trick-or-treat at Halloween for coins for hurricane victims.

The movement caught the public imagination, Talia made it on the “Today” show, and the campaign raised more than $10 million. With that success behind her, Talia organized a program called RandomKid to help other young social entrepreneurs organize and raise money.

Young people have often been engaged in social movements, of course, but today’s activists are younger than ever. More important, these kids aren’t just protesters but rather are “social entrepreneurs,” pioneering clever ways to “give back” just as a business entrepreneur fills a market niche.

Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times