As a mother, my son Christopher inspired my own journey to find my voice and become a humanitarian and advocate. As I delved further into the world of non-profit fundraising and became a change maker on my own, raising millions of dollars for charity, Christopher’s life and love continued to inspire me to move forward and make Las Vegas a better, more loving place. I want to introduce you to three wonderful young people who are making amazing changes in their local communities.
Right here in Las Vegas, Peyton Barsel is creating space, support, and solidarity for kids who have lost their parents and siblings. Peyton, 17, lost her own father when she was only nine due to a heart attack. She says that she and her brother felt safe due to the counseling they received at Adam’s Place. When Peyton was 12, she came back to Adam’s Place to give back to more kids and became the charity’s first teen facilitator. When Adam’s Place faced a funding crisis, Peyton swung into action for non-profit fundraising.
She went to the state capital and testified to support a bill giving more state funding to Adam’s Place each year and raised over $5,000 with an annual silent auction. She’s continuing to pursue legislative change as well as personal change, facilitating a kids’ group at Adam’s Place, and advocating for more trauma education for teachers.
Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Kelvin Doe started working at the age of 10, collecting rubbish, discarded devices, and scrap metal. By the time he was 13, he had made a battery to power the homes surrounding his despite ongoing blackouts and insecure electricity supply. Kelvin built a sound amplifier, radio transmitter, mixer, and microphone and made his own community radio station, broadcasting directly to his neighborhood. After he took a top prize at a summer camp for science and innovation, Kelvin received worldwide attention that led to a $100,000 project to find solar solutions for the electricity crisis in his hometown. Today, at the age of 22, he runs both a startup for his engineering projects and a foundation for his humanitarian initiatives.
Nicholas Lowinger started his foundation as a community service project after he found out that a lack of access to clean, safe shoes was keeping kids across the United States from going to school and fulfilling their potential. He started a shoe drive to help other kids at the homeless shelter in his community. Today, however, Nicholas runs the Gotta Have Sole Foundation at the age of 17. His foundation has provided over 42,000 pairs of shoes to children in 36 states living in homeless shelters. He’s even launched student clubs to get other kids involved in giving back.
Peyton, Kelvin, and Nicholas are inspirations, just like Christopher. Their stories can motivate all of us to do a little more to make our communities – and the world – a better place.