Amazing Kids 2021

Presenting the Amazing Kids Class of 2021


There’s no better (or shorter) way to characterize Pamplin Media Group’s 2021 Class of Amazing Kids.

They’ve persevered for more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve persevered, thrived, grown and reached out to help their communities despite the continuing shutdowns and restrictions on schools and society.

The Amazing Kids project, which usually culminates with a late-spring celebration at OMSI, saw its culminating event canceled for a second straight year because of the statewide restrictions. As painful as that loss is, nothing could stop Pamplin Media Group’s many talented reporters, editors, photographers and designers from sharing the good news about this year’s special group of young people.

In these days where hope and inspiration sometimes seem to be in short supply, we have plenty to share. There’s the outreach of Sunset High School student Maggie Bao, who started baking at home during stay-at-home orders last spring, and later, co-founded a club that cooks, delivers and serves food to the Transition Projects — an organization helping people transition from homelessness to housing.

The group also delivers food to a local women and children’s shelter.

Bao started the club with her friend, Audrey Zhao, and they now have 10 people who are part of the group.

“During quarantine, I kind of just had the idea to basically take what we’re doing every month at church and realizing we could actually just make this stuff ourselves at home and go to a shelter,” Bao said. There’s the heart shown by Madras’ Justin Plant, who learned that some of his classmates didn’t have enough to eat and decided to do something about it.

“Is that possible? Are there really kids who don’t have enough food to eat?” he asked his parents, Gary and Jill Plant. Plant learned that indeed, some children do go to bed hungry, and he just didn’t think that was right. 

In response, Plant and his family helped implement the Backpack Buddies program through their church, Madras United Methodist Church. They raised funds, collected donations and purchased child-friendly, shelf-stable food through the regional food bank and local grocers. 

Amazing Kids 2021 Cover
Download this year's Amazing Kids Flip Book!

There’s the energy of Wilsonville High School students Ainsley Kennedy and Makenna Wiepert. With sports on hold, they worked with other teammates to raise over $50,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as part of the Student of the Year campaign. 

“They were incredible ambassadors and volunteers for our organization,” said Jennifer Standifer, the campaign development manager for the campaign. “They excelled beyond our expectations and wants for students that come into the program.” 

As usual, this section wouldn’t be possible without the support of numerous local businesses including some of our key sponsors like Coastal, Weston Dealerships, Mt. Hood Community College and Clackamas Community College. Their support makes it possible for us to share these amazing stories and hopefully, to inspire others to do the same. If you get the chance, please support these businesses and let them know that you appreciate their support.

Amazing Kids Group Photo
Dr. Robert Pamplin Jr. and the Amazing Kids Class of 2019






Banks – ACE hardware and Five Star Paving
Beaverton – RESERS Fine Foods
Canby –  The Human Bean
Clackamas – Weston KIA
Clackamas County  – OSU Extension Service – Clackamas County
Columbia County – Guild Mortgage
Estacada –  Weston KIA
Forest Grove –  City of Cornelius
Hillsboro –  Cornell Estates Retirement & Assisted Living
Gladstone – Oregon Impact
Gresham – Gresham Ford
Gresham – Weston KIA
Lake Oswego – Broadway Furniture

Madras – Gary Gruner Chevrolet Buick GMC
Prineville – Gary Gruner Chevrolet Buick GMC
Oregon City –  Northwest Primary Care
Molalla – The Dentist off Main
Newberg – State Farm – Susan Schibel
Portland – Global Solarium
Portland – Portland Chimney and Masonry Inc.
Sandy – Suburban Auto Group
Sherwood – Sherwood Auto Repair
Tigard – Landmark Ford
Tualatin – City of Tualatin
West Linn –  Mattress World Northwest
Wilsonville – Oregon Institute of Technology
Woodburn – Chemeketa Community College