Paloma Rambana

Age 15 | Tallahassee, Florida | @FundTheGap

Challenges Overcome

Legally blind with 20/100-200 vision

Proficient with handheld magnifier and CCTV

What Leaders Are Saying…

Named a Kid Who Makes the World a Better Place – The New York Times 12/18

“A model of the American spirit” – Donald J. Trump | 2/2018

An “inspiring life changer”- O! The Oprah Winfrey Magazine | 1/18

“This young woman is doing big things for Florida!” – Congresswoman Gwen Graham | 7/16

“One of tomorrow’s leaders.” – Barack Obama 10/15

“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 America | 8/15

“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

  • 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 | 6/18
  • Named one of 20 Kids Who Make the World a Better Place by the New York Times
  • Named one of America’s Top Ten Youth Volunteers by Prudential
  • Named a 2018 Health Hero by O! The Oprah Winfrey Magazine
  • Invited Reader by Oasis Center for Women and Girls’ Library Launch 12/19
  • 2019 Legislative Page, Florida House of Representatives
  • Tallahassee Democrat’s Storyteller “A Bag of Everything”
  • Featured in Maclay School’s “Unstoppable” video
  • Sunrise Rotary Club, Invited Speaker | 3/19
  • St. John’s Episcopal Church Women’s Advent Luncheon Speaker |12/18
  • Montego Bay High School for Girls, Montego Bay, Jamaica | 11/18
  • Rotary Club of Monticello, Florida Invited Speaker | 11/18
  • Mailman Center for Child Development at University of Miami Grand Rounds Speaker | 9/18
  • Speaker at Gilchrist Elementary School | 8/18
  • Speaker at Northside Kiwanis Club | 8/18
  • Speaker at District 6940 Conference, San Destin, FL | 4/18
  • Keynote Speaker at Rotary Club of Tallahassee | 4/18
  • Invited Panelist “AI & Gaming in Digital Learning: Redefining the Education Experience” (international webinar)
  • “Advocating for Change” GenerationOn Project Guide Coordinator
  • Homeroom Student Council Representative | Fall 2016 – Present
  • Student of the Month for “Determination” | 3/16
  • “Women Empowering Women” brunch, selected speaker | 1/9/16
  • Addressed American Legion Department of Florida 2015 Fall Conference General Assembly | 11/14/15
  • Florida Department of Education White Cane Day, speaker | 10/15/15
  • Led marches from Department of Education, presenting to 100+ participants | 4/15, 12/15
  • 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


At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Princeton University | 2020

Holocaust Education Resource Council (HERC) Social Media Coordinator | 2019-2020

Crew Club Member, Maclay School | Fall 2018

Space Academy Graduate, U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL | July 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

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, DC | 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, Cadette and Senior (Silver and Bronze Awards) | 2011-present

Awards & Recognitions

  • Leon County Commission Proclamation for advocacy | 1/20
  • Received Global Youth Award in Educational Innovation by Roundtable Global | November, 2019
  • Florida Commission on the Status of Women Spirit of Community Award Winner | October, 2019
  • Featured in “The Life Heroic: How to Unleash Your Most Amazing Self” by Elizabeth Svboda ISBN 978-1-942186-25-0-51699 | 2019
  • 1st Place Youth Author Nonfiction Purple Dragonfly Book Awards | June, 2019
  • 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
  • Addressed 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
  • Girl Scout Council Florida Panhandle Women of Distinction Awards Speaker | Fall 2016
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals Youth in Philanthropy Award Winner | Fall 2016
  • United Way Big Bend FSU Kickoff Speaker | 9/16
  • 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 | 6/16
  • Council for Exceptional Children’s “Yes I Can” Award in School & Community Activities St. Louis, MO | 4/16
  • Daughters of the American Revolution Fort San Luis Chapter Community Service Award Recipient | 4/16
  • Oasis Center for Women and Girls “Girls Can Do Anything!” recipient | 3/29/16
  • Named a “lobbying angel” by Influence Magazine | Winter, 2016 edition
  • Finalist, Tallahassee Democrat Person of the Year | 2016
  • Medal and certificate from American Legion Department of Florida for “making a difference” | 11/15
  • Letter from President Obama description includes being one of “tomorrow’s leaders” | 10/15
  • Certificate of Congressional Recognition | 10/15
  • Mayoral Proclamation for advocacy | 10/15
  • Lighthouse of the Big Bend “Inspirational Community Member” Award | first time to a child | 10/15
  • Florida Association for Education and Rehabilitation “Government Leadership Award”, first child recipient 10/15
  • Democratic Women’s Club of Florida “President’s Recognition Award” | 9/15
  • Featured on for “Doing My Part” | 8/15
  • Named a “Lilly’s Hero” by KidsAreHeroes.Org | 7/15

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.

How You Can Support Causes You Care About This Holiday Season December, 2020

Guest speaker, Student Emerging Leaders Program (SELP) at the Mailman Center at the University of Miami, May, 2019 and November, 2020

G-Team TV Episode 7: Changemakers podcast guest with Girl Scouts CEO Judith Batty October, 2020

Girls Who Rock With Success Podcast Guest June, 2020

Thriving through Disability WTXL February, 2020

Healthy Moms Magazine, “Supporting Your Heroes in Training”, September, 2019

Girl Tales Podcast “Little Girls Doing Big Things: Paloma Rambana of Paloma’s Dream” May, 2019

Teenage Author To Discuss Her Dream Efforts

Paloma Rambana Speaks to Jefferson County Middle Schoolers November 20, 2018

Teen Changemaker Lobbies for Visually-Impaired Children November, 2018

The Youngest Lobbyist October 15, 2018

Naples Daily News Commentary: Celebrate Blindness Awareness Month with Empathy, Inclusion October 12, 2018

Tampa Bay Times Help for visually impaired kids October 9, 2018

University o f Miami Mailman Center Grand Rounds – Never too Young to Make a Difference: A Child Advocate’s Story September 28, 2018

Sharing Her Story August, 2018

Eight People Changing The World August, 2018

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 Honoree: 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,


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


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"

Poster and Conference Presentations

“You're On Your Own. Awesome…Wow: Paloma's Dream June, 2020

“Hamilton” themed speech about encouraging independence in visually impaired teens

The 22nd Annual Family Café, Orlando Florida

Invited Panelist for National Girl Scout Convention, 2020

Cancelled due to Covid-19

Success through Dance and Sports May, 2019 International Symposium on Physical Activity and Individuals with Visual Impairments or Deafblindness University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Using Assistive Tech to Publish January, 2019

Future of Education Technology Conference, Orlando, Florida

“Building a Magnetic ID Reader” December 14, 2017

National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University


Reading, theatre (Hamilfan!), Do It Yourself projects, traveling (visited Andorra, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Virgin Islands -US and British)



Public Service Announcement “Wo do you Stay Home for?”

Gilmour, Sherine. “Paloma Rambana: A Young Florida Leader” Benchmark Education, 2020 | Third Grade Social Studies Textbook for Florida Students | forthcoming

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act III Scene II 

Short Film “Syena and the Orkestra” Extra, FSU College of Motion Picture Arts January, 2020

Short Film “Bigfoot” Extra, FSU College of Motion Picture Arts November, 2019

Beta tester for “WebAudio”, a news app for blind and visually impaired users.

Featured in Michael Nye’s exhibition and book “My Heart’s Not Blind” Portraits and personal narratives of a diverse group of visually impaired people exploring their experiences of vision and perception at the Witte Museum January 5-March 30, 2019 and through University Press

Self portrait included in a New York Times project created to reflect Generation Z April 2, 2019

Writer for Holocaust Education Resource Council Newsletter: