Young Social Impact Heroes: Why and How Twins Kyra and Phallon Pierce Decided To Change Our World

Penny Bauder
Authority Magazine
Published in
8 min readOct 15, 2020

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It feels great to be a part of something positive and help others! You never know how much an act of kindness or support means to someone or how that can change their outlook on life. These efforts have a ripple effect that can change a community. You can turn your frustrations into something good by focusing on how to improve a situation. If everyone used their power to make their environment a better place, think of how great the world would be?

As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kyra and Phallon Pierce

Kyra and Phallon Pierce, are 8th grade identical twins and known as “The Pierce Twins.” They are honor students, creative artists, and athletes who also love to read.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

We are 13 year old identical twins and we live with our Mom and Dad. We love to read and we also are all around athletes. Basketball is our favorite sport. We are also creative artists who love to act, dance all styles and write short stories. We are honor students who are currently in the 8th grade. Our home life is pretty awesome but unfortunately like many other middle schoolers, we have experienced bullying at school. We have learned to stand up for ourselves and others.

You are currently leading a social impact organization. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?

Our main goal of our organization is to help those in need, especially kids. We see the lack of diversity, specifically African-American authors on summer reading lists, elementary school literature courses, and in school libraries. We decided to create an age-appropriate diverse book list for young readers, and we want to take our mission to help a broader audience. We feel students of all races should be exposed to various authors and experiences to help them learn and connect to others. Books that promote positive self esteem, anti-racist, anti-bullying, social justice themes and contributions of African Americans along with other people of color should be shared and embraced. This will also help kids be more tolerant, inclusive, accepting, and appreciative of others. We believe this exposure will help young readers today be stronger leaders now and in the future. Currently, our organization is purchasing diverse books to give to kids in need, underfunded school libraries, and nonprofit after school programs.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

A few months ago, we discovered a book on our school summer reading list entitled “And Then There Were None”, by Agatha Christie, was originally named “Ten Little N*****s”. The book was later changed to its current name. We noticed this immediately upon researching the book. In addition to the original title, we learned there was a racist nursery rhyme that was a significant plot point. This did not sit well with us and sparked a need to remove bigoted and offensive books from our school’s summer reading lists.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?

Because of our experience, we talked to friends and then looked at schools in multiple school districts. We saw the lack of diversity over and over again so we were inspired to do more. There is power in reading books where main characters and plot lines revolve around people of color. It helps build confidence and allows kids to escape and/or dream with characters that look like them.

It also gives people that are different a new perspective and that can help with understanding and tolerance. We want to share that power with with the world by motivating and inspiring others.

Many young people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?

Because of experience we were inspired to do more. We started small. First, we wanted to figure out a way we can help our class, then our school. Then you get support and use that as an inspiration to grow. Sometimes as kids you have an idea but are too afraid to ask for help. Don’t Be!! We asked our parents and also researched other kids that were making an impact in their communities. If you want to make a positive impact, there are people that can help you come up with a plan. Talk to your parents, another kid who is doing something positive, or another trusted adult…you can benefit from their knowledge or they cn connect you to someone who can help. It starts with having a dream, then being confident enough to share it and then open enough to take advice along the way.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

We have received overwhelming support from our family and friends to change our school curriculum. Then we were featured on two local news segments and a series of publications and podcasts! With he heightened media attention, people have asked us for ways to help us spread the word and make a difference. That led us to expand from GoFundMe to setting up a non-profit for long term campaigns and partnerships, worldwide.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?

Don’t overcomplicate things! Keep things simple and try not to overthink everything. For example, trying to come up with a name for the organization was interesting as we needed to make sure its fits the mission, hasn’t been used, easy to remember and getting agreement among siblings isn’t always easy. Be careful with initials, you don’t want to spell something by mistake that has another meaning or interpretation. Keep it simple…We want to make a positive change so hence the name Positive Change Charities.

None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?

Our mom and dad have been the best cheerleaders ever. They have taught us to stand up if there is an issue. They both have been extremely vocal at their jobs on diversity and inclusion and we talk about how to make a positive impact versus complain about issues. That teaching has stuck with us so when we saw a problem at school, we knew we had to do something. They helped us amplify our voice at the school. Their support helped us see our strength and use our power. Because of them we feel we can do anything!

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

Parents and kids have reached out to us and said because of our story they are paying more attention to their reading lists, choices and school assignments. They are standing up and making a change.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

#1 Diversify your reading choices at home. If all the books have the same type of people as main characters, your child’s view of the world is limited.

#2 Diversify your reading selections at schools especially elementary and middle schools and give funding to after school programs and underfunded school libraries

#3 Diversify reading curriculums to include books by people of color at the elementary and middle school level. No matter what the student body is made up of, no one should have to wait until they are in the upper grades or even college to have a report on a book written by a black author.

What are a few things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Some people may be mean in order to discourage you from helping others.

While we had a ton of support for our mission, some people were mad. We had a girl take screenshots of our image from the news, write mean captions and try to twist our message. You would never think someone would try to hurt you for being positive. Unfortunately, it happens. If you believe in yourself and want to make a positive impact, never stop trying or let others dim your light. If we would have heard it earlier, the shock of experiencing the negativity may not have stung as hard.

We learned early on, set a goal and then set realistic targets/milestones to help you get there. Planning saves you time and it helps you from being overwhelmed.

We also learned to build a network of positive people that are also into making a difference in their communities. Their support will help you deal with negativity, introduce you to other positive people and you can learn from their journey. All of these things will help you and make it easier for you to help more people!

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

It feels great to be a part of something positive and help others! You never know how much an act of kindness or support means to someone or how that can change their outlook on life. These efforts have a ripple effect that can change a community.

You can turn your frustrations into something good by focusing on how to improve a situation. If everyone used their power to make their environment a better place, think of how great the world would be?

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-) Michelle Obama and Beyonce

Michelle Obama is smart, positive and strong. She is such a positive role model. We would love to hear who inspires her, what plans does she have for the future and her advice she has for young black girls today.

Beyonce is such a great entertainer who never forgot her roots. She is about being unapologetically black but doesn’t alienate others. Since we dance and act, we would love to hear about her experience and also get her advice.

How can our readers follow you online?

We are @Thepiercetwins on all social media platforms! Connect with us socially!

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Penny Bauder
Authority Magazine

Environmental scientist-turned-entrepreneur, Founder of Green Kid Crafts