Daily Point of Light # 2081 Jan 24, 2002

Christian Whitton has been a role model in his community since the age of nine; at that time he began to serve his community as an advocate for those who needed aid. He has learned about the government and private, local, federal, and state laws so that he can assist the poor and elderly.

When Christian was nine, one of his friends who was physically challenged wanted to play sports. The football league and coaches turned him away. Christian did research and fought to get the league and coaches to allow his friend to play. Since that day, Christian has worked for the rights of the physically challenged and the disabled.

Christian has worked with the State Office of Disability Affairs and the United States Justice Department, seeking and notifying violators of the American with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act of the Disabled. Christian takes the time to give his own written notices to violators; and if he does not receive a reply, Christian files a complaint with the United States Justice Department in Washington DC. They can issue fines up to $50,000 for first time violators and up to $100,000 for subsequent violations. He has been successful in getting wheelchair accessible walkways, handicapped parking spaces, handicapped restrooms, and handicapped facilities.

Christian takes the time to visit places to ensure they are not in violation. He makes preliminary inspections of certain areas with the acknowledgement of the Justice Departments. On these visits he lists what he believes the violations are, and he then researches his findings. He then returns to make sure the violations are still there; if they are he sends violation notices.

Christian is 17 years old now, but he is just as passionate as he was when he was nine. Since the summer of 1995, he has donated half of his summer income to buy smile alarms and carbon monoxide detectors for neighbors and friends that do not have them or are not able to buy them. He did this as a result of a house fire not too far from his home in 1993 that claimed the life of two people. The fire department advised the community that smoke alarms could have stopped these deaths. Then Christian took $200 he won selling candy at school and bought smoke alarms as opposed to the bike he had been saving for.