At UNICEF Kid Power, Jaden Michael’s a star. Like any 13-year-old, he’s busy with school. But he’s always looking for ways to get active and often posts on social media about how easy UNICEF Kid Power makes it for kids to help other kids.
“I am thrilled to help out and be a part of the great work UNICEF does,” says Jaden.
As it turns out, Jaden isn’t just a star in the Kid Power world. Right now, the 13-year-old from New York is at the Cannes Film festival for the premiere of Wonderstruck, an adaptation of a novel by Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret). The book and film tell the story of two children who’ve lost their hearing—Ben, a boy from the 1970s, and Rose, from the ‘20s—whose journeys to unlock family secrets magically converge at New York’s Museum of Natural History.
Giving a performance the Telegraph calls “heartbreakingly open,” Jaden plays the son of a museum worker who takes Ben behind-the-scenes of the museum, leading him toward a personal discovery. Directed by Todd Haynes, the film also stars Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams along with newcomer Millicent Simmonds and Oakes Fegley (Pete’s Dragon) as Rose and Ben.
Jaden was three when he started acting in commercials and on Nick Jr. and Sesame Street and he’s already appeared in numerous movies and TV shows. Jaden’s played a goofy detective in the pilot shot for PBS’ Odd Squad. But he’s also tackled more grownup projects with Viola Davis, Hayden Panettiere, and Ellen Burstyn in this year’s Custody and Jim Jarmusch’s film Paterson, featured at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. Jaden’s mom, Clara Perez, says he likes telling the stories of kids from different walks of life: “Working on Wonderstruck has inspired Jaden to learn American Sign Language (ASL) and given him a deeper sense of helping children be kind to one another.”
It also gave him the chance to channel the “livewire energy,” the Hollywood Reporter’s Wonderstruck review praises him for injecting into the film.
Though we might call it “lifesaving” energy, we agree that Jaden has a lot to give and offer him and his family a big UNICEF Kid Power high five!
Jaden’s Motto: Stay positive, never give up no matter how hard it may seem. “Work hard, Go far.”
Global citizenry M.O. Every child should have an opportunity to be who they want and follow their dreams. Nutrition is a necessary part of focusing and if you can go to school and focus and learn, you can follow your dreams — no matter how big or small.
Favorite ways to get active: I love to act, sing, skateboard and dance. My mom and I go to the gym often to exercise. I take boxing lessons with her and my grandma, which gives us a whole lot of points, and we love to walk everywhere—unless it is snowing! 75% of our points come from walking around Manhattan. Our favorite part is coming home and seeing who got the most points. I usually win so my mom says my UNICEF Kid Power Band is rigged!
Jaden and his mother and workout buddy, Clara.
Other family members on the UNICEF Kid Power Team: My mom. All day we get questions like “What is that?” I always love explaining what the UNICEF Kid Power Band is and telling people to go get one. “All I have to do is put on the Band in the morning and get active! It’s so easy to use yet has such a big impact.
Total UNICEF Kid Power Points: 362 power points, 26 Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Food packets
Average steps per day: 7,500 to 10,000.
Personal best step count: About 30000 steps in one day.
Why UNICEF Kid Power: How simple it is to save lives! There are so many people less fortunate around the world — even here in America. UNICEF Kid Power is a great way to change and save lives while getting fit at the same exact time.
Top photo: A skateboarder, dancer and boxer, Jaden Michael takes his UNICEF Kid Power Band with him wherever he goes. This week he’s at the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of his film ‘Wonderstruck’ with (from left) Millicent Simmonds,Julianne Moore, director Todd Haynes and Michelle Williams. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images