Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

'Young Wonders' show empathy beyond their years

January 4, 2012 -- Updated 2109 GMT (0509 HKT)
  • Three youngsters were honored in December along with the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2011
  • Rachel Beckwith raised more than $1.25 million for clean water in developing countries
  • Mikey Carraway is feeding the homeless, raising awareness about organ donation
  • Justin Churchman builds homes for Mexican people who need shelter

(CNN) -- Millions of young people want to change the world. These three actually did it, and at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," they were honored for their efforts.

Rachel Beckwith
For her 9th birthday, Rachel Beckwith asked that people donate to charity: water instead of buying her gifts. She wanted to raise $300 to help provide clean water for people in need.

A little more than a month after her birthday, Rachel died after she was critically injured in a car accident. But after her death, her story of selflessness inspired thousands of people to give money to her cause. In all, Rachel's campaign raised more than $1.25 million.

Watch Rachel's story
Rachel's original campaign site
Donate now: Rachel's mom carries on her legacy

Mikey Carraway
Mikey Carraway was diagnosed with liver failure when he was 11. His life was saved, however, when he received a liver transplant from 18-year-old Johnny Hernandez. Hernandez was killed in a motorcycle accident.

To honor Hernandez's memory -- and to raise awareness about organ donation -- Mikey feeds the homeless through his organization, Mikey's Meals.

Watch Mikey's story
Donate to Mikey's Meals

Justin Churchman
Justin Churchman is helping change lives in Juarez, Mexico, one house at a time.

Through Casas por Cristo, he was able to accomplish a remarkable goal: building 18 homes for people by his 18th birthday.

Watch Justin's story
Donate to Casas por Cristo