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Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez: 8 celebs who influenced kids in 2013

Singer Taylor Swift came in first in a

Singer Taylor Swift came in first in a Kidsday survey of influential celebrities. Credit: Getty / Jason Merritt

Kidsday reporters Julia Lanza and Sara D'Andrea, both 10, of West Islip, interviewed students at their school to find out which celebrities, and other notable people, had the greatest influence on kids in 2013. Here's what they had to say:

1. Taylor Swift is an influential performer because, unlike many people who become famous, the singer stayed true to herself and her beliefs.

2. Bridgit Mendler, one of our favorite actresses from the show "Good Luck Charlie," is very much like Swift because she works with the Friends For Change charity. Her music video showed kids working together and people taking care of the environment.

3. Debby Ryan, from the show "Jessie," went to India to help build schools for children. She was featured in a short segment on the Disney Channel to teach kids that education is important for everyone.

4. Disney stars  Ross Lynch and Laura Marano planted trees in California for Friends For Change, to help improve our environment.

5. Miley Cyrus is influential in a very different way. Her outrageous performance at the MTV Video Music Awards made young people realize that being inappropriate isn't proof that you're a grown-up.

6. Selena Gomez is influential because she has a great attitude even though she isn't a child star anymore. We like the way she's grown up and we think she's a great singer and role model.

7. Bethany Hamilton faced a life-changing experience when a shark bit her arm off in 2003, when she was 13. Instead of giving up on surfing, she never gave up on her dream.

8. Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old Pakistani student, was shot in the head last year by the Taliban while trying to fight for women's education. She's met with many powerful people including President Barack Obama. She was awarded the European Union's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

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