Meet Bellmorite Mia Monzidelis: an 11-year-old entrepreneur with a passion for philanthropy. At age 5, she envisioned a new toy — now known as the Power Pony — that combines the power of a Hoverboard with the warmth of a plush toy. Her creation has been on the market since August, and Mia, who loves to give back to those in need, is set to be honored by the Family and Children’s Association later this month at the organization’s inaugural Women in Philanthropy breakfast.
The Family and Children’s Association is one of Long Island’s largest human services agencies, offering help to the area’s most vulnerable children, families and seniors. According to Craig Pinto, FCA’s marketing director, the organization served 34,000 people last year.
Last December, Mia, a fifth-grader at Shore Road Elementary School, donated $5,000 to bolster FCA’s annual appeal. The donated funds were spread across all of FCA’s divisions.
“I am always trying to help children and families,” Mia told the Herald.
“I have always been giving back since I was 3 years old. I chose FCA so I could give back where I live.”
Her donation to FCA was made possible, of course, by the Power Pony. “I’ve always had a passion for horses,” Mia explained. “I would always ask my parents, ‘Why can’t we put a horse in the backyard?’”
When she was 5, she said, she was given a Hoverboard — a two-wheeled, motorized toy that moves the user around when weight is applied to it — for Christmas. In her garage one night, she put a plush horse on top of the device, sat down, and felt like she was riding a real horse as it moved around.
“I called my parents into the garage and they said, ‘Oh my god, this is amazing, Mia!’” she recounted.
“She’s one of a kind,” her mother, Christine Monzidelis said. “The day she came riding out with this invention — it was just incredible. She’s very smart, very creative.”
With the help of her mother and her father, Christopher, Mia worked with designers, manufacturers and patent attorneys to bring the Power Pony to life, Christine said. Her daughter, she added, was involved every step of the way.
“She worked so close with her dad to bring this to life,” Christine said.
“At the age that she is, to see her start this and build it to what it is — it’s just amazing to watch. She can verbalize exactly what she wants — her communication has been critical throughout this.”
The Power Pony, which looks like a large, plush horse on wheels, has a saddle that is 20 inches off the floor. Its front two wheels are connected to a flat surface where the user places her feet. To move the pony, she must push her feet forward or backward on the flat surface, and steer right or left while holding onto knobs attached to the pony’s head.
Offered in four styles — Champ, Princess, Crystal and Hero — the toy’s motor will run for 45 to 60 minutes at full charge.
Slowed by production delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Power Pony finally hit the market last summer, and is currently available for purchase exclusively on its website, powerpony.com.
At FCA’s Women in Philanthropy breakfast on March 31, Mia will be honored alongside fellow philanthropists — adults. “It feels amazing, because I’m an 11-year-old,” she said of the recognition. “A lot of people start inventing stuff when they’re a little older — it’s just really cool.”
Reviews of the toy thus far have been great, she said. “We have an Instagram account called thepowerpony, and every day we post kids and parents using it,” she said. “It makes me very happy, because it took a long time for me to get it together, and it’s pleasing for me to see people enjoy it.”
She wants to continue to spread her message of why giving back to others is so important. “It feels amazing — any chance you get to give back is a big chance,” she said. “I’m going to give back probably till the day I die. It just fills my heart, and it just makes me so happy.”