TODAY'S PAPER
35° Good Morning
35° Good Morning
LifestyleFamily

Long Island kids who found fame in 2019

A select few Long Island kids got their 15 minutes of fame in 2019.

From appearing on "American Ninja Warrior Junior" to performing at Radio City Music Hall, advocating for change and meeting celebrities, star athletes and more, here are the many local children who found fame this year.

Baby Boy Derdik

Eli Derdik and his wife, Adina, with their
Credit: Howard Schnapp

Eli Derdik and his wife, Adina, of Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, with their son, born seven seconds past midnight, at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park on Jan. 1, 2019. He came into the world weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. The nurses nicknamed the 20.75-inch-tall baby "007" after his birth time and James Bond. This is the couple's second child. -- Nicholas Spangler and Rachelle Blidner

Kairo Lewis

Rochelle Monroe, left, and Josean Lewis, of Amityville,
Credit: James Carbone

Suffolk County's first baby appeared to be Kairo Lewis, born Jan. 1, 2019 at 12:08 a.m. at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip to Rochelle Monroe and Josean Lewis of Amityville. Kairo weighed 8 pounds, 12 ounces and measured just over 22 inches long. This is the couple's second child. --Nicholas Spangler and Rachelle Blidner

David Futeran

David Futeran, 10, of Huntington, is scheduled to
Credit: Shelby Knowles

On the "American Ninja Warrior Junior" episode on March 12, viewers met competitor David Futeran, a 10-year-old from Huntington. The show taped the episode over three days in Los Angeles and aired on Universal Kids. -- Beth Whitehouse

Dylan Herman, Sadie Merting, Riley Smith and Gavin Diegnan

Primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall with Kidsday reporters
Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

Sixth graders from Wantagh Middle School met primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall in Manhattan. She is the ambassador for Disneynature Films and her Roots & Shoots youth service program is used in schools all across the country. As Kidsday reporters, they learned what animals (besides chimps) she enjoyed working with, how many days a year she travels, her biggest inspiration and more.

Rhythm of the Knight show choir

The Uniondale High School show choir has created
Credit: NYCB LIVE

The award-winning Uniondale High School show choir, Rhythm of the Knight, created a mashup music video of New Kids on the Block hits to celebrate that band's "Mixtape" Tour, which came to NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum in June. The video, filmed at the request of the Coliseum, features 28 choir members performing two New Kids on the Block hits, "Hangin' Tough" and "(You've Got It) The Right Stuff." -- Beth Whitehouse

Tal Schulmiller

Tal Schulmiller of Port Washington, whose signature dish
Credit: Fox

Port Washington teen Tal Schulmiller was a contestant on "MasterChef Junior" in March. His signature dish was kombu-cured salmon with a miso buerre-blanc and yuzu kosho (Japanese white wine grape). He competed for the trophy and $100,000 prize during the show's seventh season, but was eliminated on the March 19 episode. -- Beth Whitehouse

Ashley Gerasimovich

Ashley Gerasimovich of Garden City.
Credit: Michael Creagh

Fifteen-year-old Ashley Gerasimovich of Garden City starred in the fourth season of the TBS comedy "The Detour." Gerasimovich played a runaway teen named Delilah whose dysfunctional parents and brother undertake a worldwide search from Tibet to Paraguay to Japan find her. -- Beth Whitehouse

Juliana Stephen

Juliana Stephen, 10, of Ronkonkoma, will perform in
Credit: Rana Faure/MSG Photos/Rana Faure

Juliana Stephen, 10, of Ronkonkoma, performed in honor of her brother, Jordan, who died of cancer four years ago, at the annual Garden of Dreams Talent Show at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. She performed a mashup that includes Beyoncé tunes. Other Long Islanders also performed at the show. Bailley Fernandez, 16, of Valley Stream, sang "Breathin" by Ariana Grande in honor of her father who died of post 9/11-related cancer when she was 12. -- Beth Whitehouse

Coleen Mason's fourth-grade class

Fourth-grade teacher Coleen Mason and student Austin Welter,
Credit: Coleen Mason

After reading a piece in Storyworks magazine about the number of plastic bottles slated to be recycled that instead wind up in a landfill, fourth-grade students from Coleen Mason's class at Holbrook Road Elementary School in Centereach took action that led to new water fountains for the Middle Country School District's 10 elementary schools.They wrote letters to the district superintendent asking for water fountains that would allow students to easily fill resuable bottles. Local politicians heeded the students' plea: Doug Smith, a New York State assembly member and Assemb. Steven Englebright provided grants that to fund 30 water fountains, which cost $31,000. -- Beth Whitehouse

Alexis Tejada, Luz Cabrera, Daisy Gonzalez and Joshua Membreno

Actress Breanna Yde with Kidsday reporters Alexis Tejada,
Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

Kidsday reporters interviewed actress Breanna Yde. She is starring as Gina on the TV series "Malibu Rescue" and as Ronnie Anne on "The Loud Family." Before that, she was in Nickelodeon's "School of Rock," as Tomika. The students learned about her hobbies, her favorite TV show growing up and her favorite subject in school. 

Evangeline and Annabelle Wasser

McLain Ward, a three-time Olympic medalist, is flanked
Credit: Jesse Wasser

In August, Evangeline and Annabelle Wasser, 12, competed for the first time in this year's Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton. The identical twins were inspired by equestrian superstar McLain Ward. The sisters competed in the same category: the Short Stirrups, which involves walking, trotting and cantering before doing jumping over rails. -- Ian J. Stark

A'kai Littlejohn

A'kai Littlejohn of Hauppauge with his spring summer
Credit: Jaclyn Noelle Photography

At age 13, A'kai Littlejohn of Hauppauge, was a contestant on Lifetime TV's "Project Runway Junior." Now 16, the young fashion designer had his first solo fashion show during New York Fashion Week in Manhattan in September. He featured 33 looks, which included clothes to make women "the center of attention in the room," he said. -- Beth Whitehouse

Lindsey Galligan, Lillian Musso, Isabel Connolly and Faith Cairo

Author James Patterson in Manhattan with Kidsday reporters
Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

Kidsday reporters met author James Patterson in Manhattan where they talked about his Jimmy Patterson books and his TV series "Kid Stew." They learned why he decided to start writing kids books, how old he was when he first started writing, advice for young authors and more.

Loui Peredo, Jacob Ellenwood, Ethan Reiser and Sebastian Oyaga

Giants running back Saquon Barkley with Kidsday reporters
Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

Kidsday reporters met Giants running back Saquon Barkley at the Giants Training Facility in New Jersey. Saquon was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year last season. The students learned why he chose 26 as his number, what it was like to have five siblings and what advice he would give to young football players.

Harlow Tyrner

Ashley Tyner, who owns a home in Westhampton,
Credit: Andrew Werner

Harlow Tyrner, 8, of Westhampton, wanted to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Ashley, who founded Farmbox Direct. Together, the duo created a monthly subscription box called Harlow's Harvest that they hope will turn school-aged children into mini-chefs and nutritionists. The boxes come with recipe cards, a science project, background on the dish kids are making and an online game kids can play connected to that month's theme. -- Beth Whitehouse

Victor Polizu and Daniella Brancato

Victor Polizu and Daniella Brancato, both 17-year-old seniors
Credit: Colleen Bowler Dlugolecki

Victor Polizu and Daniella Brancato, both 17-year-old seniors at Great Neck South High School, took the stage in the school's performance of the opera "Die Fledermaus" in April. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the school's opera program. The 2 ½-hour, three-act show also included a video about the opera's history and tribute to people who have supported the program over the years. -- Beth Whitehouse

Jacob Yousha, Lawrence Giarrizzo, Talha Shad and more

Jacob Yousha, 13, of Wantagh, competed in the
Credit: Yousha family

Six Fortnite players from Long Island -- five of them younger than 18 -- headed to Las Vegas to compete in an esports showdown to win the inaugural Simon Cup and a $50,000 shopping spree at Simon properties. Some of the teens who competed included Jacob Yousha, 13, of Wantagh (pictured), Lawrence Giarrizzo, 17, of Mount Sinai and Talha Shad, 15, of Lynbrook. -- Beth Whitehouse

Humberto Guevara, Ian Codio, Alan Turcios and Jose Munguia

Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant with Kidsday reporters
Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

Kidsday reporters from the De La Salle School in Freeport met retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant when he appeared at the Barnes & Noble store in Union Square in Manhattan. Kobe is the creator of the book "The Wizenard Series: Training Camp," which is written by Wesley King. He also reveals his favorite sport to watch and his greatest inspiration. 

More Family