Rachael Ray's Wednesday guest is a Winton Woods student with an online cooking series

A local first-grader who is the star of an online cooking series lands a spot on the Rachael Ray show.

The episode, with a focus on Super Heroes, airs 11 a.m. Oct. 24 on WXIX-TV here in Cincinnati. Leah Jones-Finklea and her 6-year-old daughter, Leiana, known online as the Amazing Amy Amor, join Ray and her special guest Chef Curtis Stone via FaceTime.

"The Blessings keep coming!!" reads an Oct. 20 post on the Amazing Amy Amor Facebook page. "God has opened yet another door to put Amazing Amy on a National Platform."

In the segment, Ray tells Leiana that she loves that she uses cooking to find her "superpowers" in the kitchen.

"That's the way I grew up too," she says. "It made me feel better about myself to be able to make things and share them with people.”

Ray then asks Leiana what she loves about cooking. "My favorite's apple pie – and it's the bomb," Leiana says.

Amazing Amy Amor's online cooking series first appeared on Facebook in 2016, not long after Leiana was diagnosed with a speech impediment.

The disability presented social challenges as classmates pulled away from Leiana, Jones-Finklea recalls. Children with a speech impediment often experience bullying and low self-esteem, she says.

Not wanting her daughter to become just another statistic, Jones-Finklea says she tried to find a way to partner with the schools to help Leiana build confidence and improve her speaking skills. This effort led to the online cooking series on Facebook, which later expanded to other social media platforms including YouTube and Instagram.

"The response has really been overwhelming," Jones-Finklea says. It's also doing as hoped, growing Leiana's self-confidence and helping to improve her speech.

The interview with Rachael Ray was "awesome," she says. 

At the end of the segment, Ray surprises the mother and daughter with the gift of some cookware.

This will come in handy given Amazing Amy's most recent endeavor. She recently launched her own line of apple pies.

"They are selling like hotcakes," Jones-Finklea says. The pies are only sold on weekends, and they always sell out. To learn more about the pies, follow Amazing Amy Amor on Facebook or call, 513-549-6449.

Leah Jones-Finklea
Urban Meyer tries one of Amazing Amy's Pies

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - We first introduced our viewers to Leiana “Amazing Amy” Jones last week. The 6 year old from Springdale has taken social media by storm with her adorable baking demonstrations.

She recently welcomed star St. Xavier High School football player, and Ohio State commit Paris Johnson Jr. to her show, and taught him how to make football brownies.

This past Saturday, Paris and his mother Monica hand delivered one of Amazing Amy’s pies to Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer. Meyer’s wife Shelley tells us her husband says the pie was “very, very good”.

Leah Jones-Finklea
Amazing Amy: Young girl teams with high school football star in the kitchen

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Leiana "Amazing Amy" Jones is spunky 6-year-old with a passion for baking.

Paris Johnson Jr. is one of the best high school football players in the country, who's managed to go his entire seventeen years without cracking an egg.

"He's great at the microwave," says Paris's mother Monica. "And that's about the extent of his cooking."

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Leiana "Amazing Amy" Jones is spunky 6-year-old with a passion for baking.

Paris Johnson Jr. is one of the best high school football players in the country, who's managed to go his entire seventeen years without cracking an egg.

"He's great at the microwave," says Paris's mother Monica. "And that's about the extent of his cooking."

It's an unlikely, but important friendship.

Amy was diagnosed with a serious speech impediment at an early age.

Her mom Leah says other kids shied away from her because they couldn't understand her.

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Leiana "Amazing Amy" Jones is spunky 6-year-old with a passion for baking.

Paris Johnson Jr. is one of the best high school football players in the country, who's managed to go his entire seventeen years without cracking an egg.

"He's great at the microwave," says Paris's mother Monica. "And that's about the extent of his cooking."

It's an unlikely, but important friendship.

Amy was diagnosed with a serious speech impediment at an early age.

Her mom Leah says other kids shied away from her because they couldn't understand her.

"I was just trying to think of ways to partner with her school with what I could to at home to help her speech and help build her confidence."

Leah found that getting Amy in the kitchen was the answer.

What started as a hobby, soon blossomed into so much more.

"We came up with the idea to start recording her." says Leah. "So I started to record her and I would chop it up and made it into little cooking videos, and post them on outlets like Facebook and YouTube, and it kind of took off from that." In her latest episode, Amy teaches the St. Xavier High School offensive lineman and Ohio State commit how to bake football brownies.

"She is a wonderful person." says Paris. "She's very funny and very intelligent. She taught me a lot of stuff about the kitchen."

While Amy says Paris is still a work in progress in the kitchen, it's their unique friendship that's the true icing on the cake. "It's so special to me." says Leah. "She can brag about PJ (Paris) now. I have this friend, and he's so big and he plays football. And so while she was teaching him in the kitchen, when she went to his game to cheer him on, she was learning about football."

Leah Jones-Finklea
Mom helps 5-year-old daughter find confidence through cooking

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

When a child is diagnosed with a speech impediment, it can cause stress, angst and depression. Sometimes children can go into isolation out of fear due to that lack of clarity and understanding. According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association: "Language disorders can hinder a child's ability to hold meaningful conversations, problem solve or to be able to comprehend and express thoughts through spoken or written words."

 

With that in mind--Cincinnati mom Leah Jones Finklea sprang into action after she learned her daughter had a speech impediment. After learning Leiana, was being shunned by classmates because they couldn't quite understand her she wanted to do something to help her find her voice. So she created an outlet for learning in the form of a cooking show via Facebook. The show would be used to not only build her confidence but to be the voice for those who suffer from the same ailment. 

With a bright smile and even brighter personality the local internet sensation is stealing hearts one sweet recipe at a time. In her latest video posted on her "Amazing Amy" Facebook cooking show, she is making jello hearts--opening up the video with the natural excitement of a 5 year old presenting her latest creation to the world. In the background, you can hear her mother, Leah, correcting her when she mispronounces the name of an ingredient. It's her way of helping "Amazing Amy" overcome the speech impediment diagnosis given to her after teachers said students had a hard time understanding her. "Initially I was told when she was in head start that she had a possible speech impediment," says Leah. "They said that a lot of times other kids in her class, it was hard for them to understand her. So that made them shy away her so she was left to sometimes play by herself which hurt her feelings and it was sad just like it would be for any child. As a parent, I wanted to think of a way that I can encourage her not to be so shy and to speak up, also to help with her clarity in her speech." 

Cooking was a natural choice for Leah, since Leiana already had some experience helping her in the kitchen at home. "Everybody that meets her just absolutely falls in love with her," says Leah. "When it came to cooking that was something that me and my mother shared when I was young. I saw the same thing with her. We would all get in the kitchen for holidays and cook and when she would cook she would kind of turn into an alter ego--turn into someone else." 

That alter-ego, "Amazing Amy," has proven to be a confidence booster for the 5 year old who didn't have a problem saying she had ambitions to be a cooking mega-star. She seems to be enjoying her new found internet fame, especially amongst her class mates. She says she loves to make her classmates laugh and enjoys when they watch and engage with her during her cooking show. 

Leah only hopes the development of "Amazing Amy's" cooking skills will lead to a development in her speech. She encourages parents to find what works for their children in order to help them navigate life's difficulties. 

"For her, it's cooking, but for someone else it might be reading out loud or different things. It's really knowing your child and finding something your child loves and pairing it with that."

With Amazing Amy's growing popularity, the internet cooking sensation is selling t-shirts in order to get more ingredients so she can cook up sweet treats like the cookie monster dessert you saw her make in our FOX 19 NOW kitchen. If you want to know more about the enthusiastic 5-year-old, click here to visit the "Amazing Amy" Facebook page.

Copyright 2018 WXIX. All rights reserved.

Leah Jones-Finklea
Amazing Amy' is helping kids with speech impediments through cooking show

SPRINGDALE, Ohio —

A sassy 6-year-old from Springdale is taking the internet by storm with her creative food segments.

Leiana Amy-Amor is helping kids around the world with her cooking show called "Amazing Amy."

 

Leiana's mother Leah Jones Finklea said the cooking segment became an important tool in Leiana'a journey to eliminate her speech impediment and she wants to help other kids as well.

"Me and my mother; I grew up in the kitchen with me and her cooking. After I had my daughter she kind of followed suit. It is something we all love to do. We love to cook," Jones Finklea said.

"If someone says a word, I have to say it back," Leiana said.

Finklea said the speech impediment was beginning to take a toll on Leiana, which is why she felt a fun spin on lessons was necessary.

"She talked about how some of the kids on the playground would shy away from her because they didn't understand what she was saying. So they didn't want to play with her. As a mother, it was heart-wrenching to hear something like that about your child," Jones Finklea said.

Leiana's "Amazing Amy" segments have picked up so much steam online, Jones Finklea said Leiana has even received messages from kids and parents in the United Kingdom.

"When I hear the feedback of how she is touching people and how she is encouraging children her own age, I think that is the greatest reward," Jones Finklea said.

As she continues to work on her speech, Leiana is excited to help other kids with their speech one recipe at a time.

Leah Jones-Finklea