How One Hero is Creating Waterfalls of Change
This post originally appeared on the generationOn blog.
Six years ago, Carter Jimenez Jenkins was looking at a website called Blue Planet Run and saw a photo essay about people who were living without access to safe water. Carter was shocked and knew he needed to take action.
He quickly learned that 1 in every 8 people lack access to clean drinking water and decided he was going to do something to improve this statistic. Carter started Students For Safe Water, a nonprofit that supports people living around the world by raising funds to provide safe water to villages and communities while also educating students and teachers here in the United States about the world water crisis.
In 2013, Carter was honored by Hasbro and generationOn as a Hasbro Community Action Hero for his dedication to service in his community, and around the world.
"Becoming a Hasbro Community Action Hero helped propel Students For Safe Water forward by giving me the confidence to reach out to more students and community leaders,” Carter reflects about how winning the award impacted his work. "By providing tools to accomplish our goals, our outreach has expanded in areas I never could have foreseen. Most importantly, it has brought more kids to service and that helps improve more lives."
Over the past four years, Students For Safe Water has expanded both in their outreach—now encompassing literacy, reforestation and teacher education—and in their global impact, expanding to the entire United States, Latin America and Uganda.
Recently, the organization funded a teacher hygiene education program in Uganda, campaigned for change after the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, talked about the draught in California, and built water and sanitation systems in Nicaragua. All of this work has impacted thousands of lives across the globe.
But the one thing Carter is most proud of, he says, is "the impact Students For Safe Water has had on other student leaders, who are doing great things based on their involvement with the organization, including some who started their own non-profits. The impact is amazing."
The great news is that any kid or teen can become more involved and improve their community today.
"The easiest way to become involved is to become aware," says Carter. "Every day there are opportunities to be of service to others, whether it's offering a smile to someone having a bad day or committing time to a cause you are passionate about. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. If I hadn't, I would have never had the experience of becoming a Hasbro Community Action Hero!"
The Hasbro Community Action Hero Award recognizes outstanding young volunteers who show that you are never too young to make a difference in your local or global community. Hasbro Children's Fund and generationOn will celebrate 10 young people between the ages of 5 and 18 for their extraordinary community service and volunteer activities. Do you know an amazing kid or teen (or are you one yourself?) who should become a Hasbro Community Action Hero? Learn more and nominate an amazing kid or teen today!