Meet the five CNN Young Wonders of 2018


Solving these problems may seem insurmountable, but not to a group of adolescents and guests who have seen a subject and have been passionately and energetically treated.

Hosted by Anderson Cooper, "Young Wonders: A CNN Heroes Specialist," on Saturday 8 December, at 8 pm ET. These five young people will also be honored during the "CNN Heroes: All-Star Tribute" that will be released on Sunday, December 9 at 8 pm ET.

"The next generation reminds us of the inexhaustible foundation that really connects us – incredible acts of kindness, unconditional love and the promise of a better tomorrow," says Cooper.

Here are the five "Young Wonders" this year:

Max Bobholz, Angels in Bat

Max Bobholz

Max Bobholz loves baseball.

After seeing a Ugandan team make history as the first African team to play at the Little League World Series, it was clear to Max that these kids also loved the sport. Many players in countries like Uganda, however, have no access to the equipment they need to maintain the championship.

Inspired by the pride of the Ugandan team to represent their country – despite having very small equipment – Max, now 18, decided to help. He had been looking for a way to honor an inspired coach who died suddenly in 2012, so he jumped on both feet.

The result is Angels at Bat, a nonprofit organization that collects and distributes baseball equipment for children in rural Kenya. Max has traveled from his home in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Kenya several times to deliver equipment and teach baseball to school-age children. The team also supports baseball teams and Kenyan tournaments.

"By teaching them baseball, it hit me like a brick," says Max. "I was a 14-year-old and I did not know the size or effect it could have".

Today, Max and his team have collected about 10,000 pieces of equipment and expanded to include funds in six states – all headed by the teenager.

Almost every piece of equipment has # 20, the number of his last coach, written on it.

Learn more about Max's work.

Sonika Menon, Birth Program

Sonika Menon

Sonika Menon throws a serious birthday party.

Birthday blows are a tradition for this 15-year-old and his family. When he learned that there were other children in Chicago who did not get the same appreciation, he wanted to help. Adding her brother and her cousins, Sonika created Birth Plan, a nonprofit organization that brings birthday parties to children and families in need.

"People do not have parties because of affordable pricing," says Sonika. "We want them to feel that their existence is important to the world."

The group provides a great cake and all the party supplies for a community celebration, complete with balloons, party hats and decorations. Recipients also receive a birthday bag customized for them, containing gifts such as clothes, toys, sports equipment, movie tickets or gift cards. They have delivered 500 birthday packets and counting.

Sonika's non-profit partners with local shelters and organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club, to identify the recipients and its team participate in the celebration as much as possible.

Learn more about Sonika's work.

Liam Hannon, Liam's love meals

Lean Hanon

Liam Hannon, 11, found a creative and generous way to fight the boredom of the summer.

Two summers before, Liam told his parents that he did not want to go to the camp, but he would find a way to stay busy. So he launched an online treasure hunt that challenged him to give back to his community. Realizing that there were homeless men and women just outside the building where he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he began to make meals.

In the first week, Liam loaded a wagon and gave 20 sandwiches with the help of his dad. It quickly arrives from there, and the couple has since given more than 2,000 homemade meals from their green wagon. Liam adorns every paper bag with a positive message. His regulars know him by name.

"Many people treat them as if they are not even people, but they are, and that should not be the case," says Liam.

Now Liam's team has a larger electric wagon to work to increase the number of meals and other supplies he gives. Ultimately, his goal is to have a food truck for love.

In cooperation with a local retreat, Liam's efforts have increased in the donation and donation of school supplies and toys for homeless children.

Learn more about Liam's work.

Melati and Isabel Wijsen, plastic Bye Bye bags

Melati and Isabel Wijsen

Isabel and Melati Wijsen do not regard the Earth as a given.

Growing up on the island of Bali, the sisters saw firsthand the harmful effect of discarded plastics on ocean and marine life. When they were only 10 and 12 years old, they created Bye Bye plastic bags, an initiative to help Bali become plastic without a bag.

With a volunteer team of about 30 students, the team's efforts include beach cleaning and school, family and local school education on the subject and what they can do. In its first "pilot village", the group is working to help local shops and 800 families use alternative bags – girls say the village is two-thirds of the way it is plastic without a bag.

The sisters are collaborating with students to build rivers gathering garbage that would otherwise enter the ocean and launch a social enterprise that allows women to create alternative bags of recycled material.

"We really pay every woman for every bag she does separately," says Melati. "They are resold in shops around the island and 50% of the profit goes back to the village, to the community."

The efforts of girls inspire youth in communities all over the world to join their movement.

Learn more about the work of Isabel and Melati.

This article has been updated to correct the age of Sonika Menon and reflect a new date and time air for "Young Wonders: A CNN Heroes Specialist".