From a young age, I've been inspired to serve my community. When I was 12 years old, my love for helping others led me to build my first nonprofit, Young People Who Care. This organization empowered other young people to create service-learning projects and discover the transformative power of giving back to the community. Over the course of six years, we completed hundreds of service projects and mobilized thousands of youth to serve in their communities through my nonprofit.
I was fortunate to have my work recognized by the United States House of Representatives, President George W. Bush, the United States Department of Education, America’s Promise Alliance, Coca-Cola, Best Buy, Prudential Financial, State Farm, Apple Orthodontics, and the Dallas Mavericks, among other groups.
Because of my work with Young People Who Care, in 2008 I was selected to lead The State Farm Youth Advisory Board (SFYAB). The SFYAB was an innovative philanthropic initiative that allocated $5 million annually to a board of college students to lead a national grantmaking program. As a group, we evaluated funding requests and issued grants to deserving nonprofits across North America.
It was also around this time that I realized my experiences had given me a love for entrepreneurship and the skills necessary to launch my own company. After searching for a way to combine my passion for helping young people, serving the community, and entrepreneurship, I created Crestpoint Athletics, a youth sports and enrichment camp provider. Working with municipal governments and private organizations, it became one of the largest youth programming providers in the country, servicing thousands of youth each summer.
I went on to sell one of my companies by the age of 23. Since then, I've spent most of my time volunteering, mentoring college students, advising other entrepreneurs, and consulting a variety of companies. One of my current focuses is leading community engagement and special projects for the SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development. I work with the school's amazing faculty to develop programs that serve disadvantaged populations in DFW and beyond.
I also serve as a volunteer board member for the Better Together Foundation, a DFW-based, young adult-led nonprofit that is dedicated to the personal and professional development of young adults. I had the privilege of co-authoring a book, Better Together: How 30 Days of Service Changed My Life, a practical guide about how anybody can positively impact their community and make a difference. The book aims to inspire others, especially young people, to serve.