Paloma Rambana

Age 12 ; Tallahassee, FL                                                                                                 ; @FundTheGap

Challenges Overcome

Legally blind with 20/200 vision

Proficient with handheld magnifier and CCTV

What Leaders Are Saying...

"A model of the American spirit" - Donald J. Trump ; February, 2018

An "inspiring life changer" - O! The Oprah Winfrey Magazine ; January, 2018

"This young woman is doing big things for Florida!" - Congresswoman Gwen Graham ; July, 2016

"One of tomorrow's leaders." - Barack Obama ; October, 2015

"This young powerhouse is on a mission to ensure that all kids with serious vision problems can have access to the tools they need. At the age of 9 she has successfully lobbied the legislature in Florida, led a march on the Capitol, and secured $1 million in funding for kids like her!" - Youth Services Award ; August, 2015

"Empathy, compassion, and an instinct for the opportunity to help have combined in her character, giving her a level of energy and drive that most of us only dream of having." - 

Selected Accomplishments

  •  Speaker at Northside Kiwanis Club ; August, 2018

  •  Instrumental in securing $1,250,000 in funding for 6-13 year old blind and visually impaired children
  •  Author, "Paloma's Dream: The True Story of One Girl's Mission to Help Kids, Inspire Activism and Survive Middle School" ISBN-13: 978-0-692-11278-6 ;               June, 2018
  •  Named one of America's Top Ten Youth Volunteers by Prudential
  •  Named a 2018 Health Hero by O! The Oprah Winfrey Magazine 
  • Speaker at District 6940 Conference, San Destin, FL ; April, 2018
  •  Keynote Speaker at Rotary Club of Tallahassee ; April, 2018
  •  Invited Panelist "Al & Gaming in Digital Learning: Redefining the Education Experience" (international webinar)
  •  "Advocating for Change" Generation On Project Guide Coordinator ;
  •  Homeroom Student Council Representative ; Fall 2016 - Present
  •  Student of the Month for "Determination" ; March, 2016
  •  "Women Empowering Women" brunch, selected speaker ; January, 2016
  •  Addressed American Legion Department of Florida 2015 Fall Conference General Assembly ; November, 2015
  •  Florida Department of Education White Cane Day, speaker ; October, 2015
  •  Led marches from Department of Education, presenting to 100+ participants ; April, 2015, December 2015
  •  Earned "Superior", "Excellent" and "Superior" in Leon County Language Expo ; 2013, 2014 and 2015
  •  Named Maclay "Super Student" ; 2015, 2018
  •  Started Maclay Lower School Capri Sun Brigade for low income schools 


Member of the Tallahassee Writer's Association ; June, 2018

FSU MagLab Middle School Mentorship Selected Participant ; September, 2017

International Thespian Society Junior Classical League Member ; 2017 Earned "Our (Girl Scout) Chalet" Challenge Patch in a single day (first to do so) ; Adelboden, Switzerland ; June, 2017

International Thespian Society Member ; Inducted May, 2017

Girl Scouts of Florida Panhandle Legislative Days Selected Delegate ; March, 2017

Camp United Nations (NYC) Participant ; Fall 2016

#YearOfTheGirl Leadership Summit Participant ; Fall 2016

Student Advocate, Special Education Legislative Summit ; Summer 2016

Elected to "House of Representatives" at Camp Congress, Washington, D.C. ; Summer 2016

Maclay School Newspaper Contributor ; Spring 2016

Southern Hunter Jumper Association Member & Competitive Equestrian ; 2016

Maclay School Safety Patrol ; Winter, 2015

Played "Tinkerbell" in "Hook" ; 2015

Girl Scout, Daisy, Brownie, Junior (Bronze Award) ; 2011 - Present

Awards & Recognitions

  • Prudential Spirit of Community Award- One of America's Top Ten Youth Volunteers ; April, 2018
  • Yours Humanly Children Have the Power to Empower Award ; February, 2018
  • Named a Health Hero by O! The Oprah Winfrey Magazine "The Guiding Light" ; January, 2018 
  • To be featured in Michael Nye's exhibition and book "My Heart's Not Blind" at the Witte Museum ; 2018
  • To address Rotary District Conference, San Destin, FL ; April, 2018
  • $1,000.00 Educational Scholarship Recipient from Points of Light ; January, 2018
  • President's Volunteer Service Gold Award ; 2017
  • Named Caring Institute Honoree for Service to Humanity, Long Beach, CA ; October, 2017
  •  Featured on NASDAQ billboard in Times Square ; February, 2017
  •  Girl Scout Run for the Cookies Selected Speaker ; February, 2017
  •  Named Girl of the Month, January, 2017 by Leon County Commission on the Status of Women & Girls
  •  Hasbro Community Action Hero finalist and scholarship recipient ; Fall 2016
  •  Association of Fundraising Professionals Youth in Philanthropy Award Winner ; Fall 2016
  •  United Way Big Bend FSU Kickoff Speaker ; September, 2016
  •  Big Bend Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals 2016 Youth in Philanthropy Award Winner
  • Florida Council of the Blind's Dolly Gamble Award Recipient for serving blind individuals ; June, 2016
  •  Council for Exceptional Children's "Yes I Can" Award in School & Community Activities, St. Louis, MO ; April, 2016
  •  Daughters of the American Revolution Fort San Luis Chapter Community Service Award Recipient ; April, 2016
  •  Oasis Center for Women and Girls "Girls Can Do Anything!" recipient ; March, 2016
  •  Named a "lobbying angel" by Influence Magazine ; Winter, 2016
  •  Finalist, Tallahassee Democrat Person of the Year ; 2016
  •  Medal and certificate from American Legion Department of Florida for "making a difference" ; November, 2015
  •  Letter from President Obama description includes being one of "tomorrow's leaders" ; October, 2015
  •  Certificate of Congressional Recognition ; October, 2015 
  •  Mayoral Proclamation for advocacy ; October, 2015
  • Lighthouse of the Big Bend "Inspirational Community Member" Award ; first time to a child ; October, 2015
  •  Florida Association for Education and Rehabilitation "Government Leadership Award" ; first child recipient ; October, 2015
  •  Democratic Women's Club of Florida "President's Recognition Award" ; September, 2015
  •  Featured on for "Doing My Part" ; August, 2015
  •  Named a "Lilly's Hero" by KidsAreHeroes.Org ; July, 2015 

Media Recognition: 

Featured in several national, regional and state publications from People Magazine and Huffington Post to Influence Magazine and Tallahassee Democrat. Content includes cover stories, blog posts, editorials, and radio interviews. 

Tallahassee Talks- Russel Daws and Paloma Rambana ; July, 2018

WFSU News: Perspectives- Paloma Rambana ; June, 2018

Tallahassee's Youngest Lobbyist Writes Her Memoir ; June, 2018

Paloma Rambana of Tallahassee, Florida Named one of America’s Top Ten Youth Volunteers 

2018 State Honorees: Paloma Rambana, Florida  

Paloma Rambana - Continue to Strive For What You Want ; April 26, 2018
WTXL Maclay Student Nationally Recognized for her Volunteer Community Service ; April 23, 2018 

Another Accolade for Young Tallahassee Advocate ; April 20,2018

Tallahassee Magazine ; March-April, 2018 Edition

A Visually Impaired Child’s Relentless Efforts to Help Others ; March, 2018

Virtu Magazine Fall/Winter 2018 cover story 

Florida's Top Youth Volunteers of 2018 Selected By National Program ; February 6, 2018

Florida Girl Goes to Government to Help Kids Who Struggle to See ; January, 2018 

Everyday Heroes Who Bring Healthcare to Those in Need ; January, 2018 

Weekly Roundup in Florida ; January, 2018
Legally Blind Girl Raises Awareness, Funds to Provide Resources for Visually Impaired Children ; December 8, 2017 

Paloma Rambana given award by The Caring Institute ; October 14, 2017

Tallahassee Girl on Big Screen in Times Square ; February 21, 2017 

Rambana Named Hasbro Action Hero  

Hasbro Community Action Hero ; November 16, 2016 

Young Tallahassee Advocate Wins National Honors WFSU ; November 15, 2016 

Two Local Philanthropists to Be Honored  November 7, 2016

Hasbro Community Action Hero ; November, 2016 

Blindness Awareness Month Radio Public Service Announcement voice talent ; October, 2016

Dress to Kill Magazine “I Wanna Be Like Youtube” ; at p. 69 

“Visual Impairments and DeafBlind Education Quarterly” interview  

“Tallahassee girl lobbying Congress to help blind deaf children”

“People Magazine” 10-Year-Old Blind Florida Girl Raises Over $1 Million to Help Other Kids Like Her: 'Be Brave, the Result Is Worth It',,20981907_21009726,00.html ; May 30, 2016 

“Influence Magazine” ; 2016 Spring Edition 

2016 Girls Can Do Anything! Honoree: Paloma Rambana, advocate for children who are blind or visually impaired ; March 22, 2016 

Oasis Center honors trailblazing women and girls ; March 8, 2016

“My View” Opinion Piece:  Ask legislators to ‘fund the gap’ for blind kids ; Tallahassee Democrat March 7, 2016

Real Talk with Judy “Leading as a Young Girl:  I Speak for The Silent” radio interview by Dr. Judy Mandrell!previous-shows/hdjxc  

“Advocating for School-Age Children at State Capitol” December 17, 2015  

“The Visionary” November, 2015 “DBS Encourages Motorists to Brake4TheCane”    

“Young Blind Visionary Raises $1,000,000 and is recognized by Obama” November, 2015   

“Paloma Rambana:  Amazing Kid of the Month” November 1, 2015  

Huffington Post “Paloma’s Dream” October 21, 2015   

Capital Outlook “Blind Led the Blind” October 14, 2015  

“Celebrating a #GirlHero” October 8, 2015                             

Tallahassee Family Magazine November-December, 2015 story “Devoted Dreamer”

Tallahassee Democrat Letter to the Editor 10/07/2015 “October is Blindness Awareness Month”   

WFSU July 13, 2015 "A Nine Year Old Tallahassee Lobbyist Secures $1 Million for Florida's Visually Impaired Kids"  

Tallahassee Democrat July 5, 2015 "Tallahassee Nine Year Old Secures $1 Million in Funding for Blind"  

Tallahassee Talks June 27, 2015 "Paloma Rambana, Founder of Paloma's Dream"   

Tallahassee Democrat March 24, 2015 "Tallahassee 9 Year Old Lobbies for Blind Services"  


Reading, Theatre (Hamilfan!), Do It Yourself Projects, Traveling (visited Andorra, Bahamas, Belgium, England, France, Holland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Virgin Islands- U.S. and British)