Home sick from school, 10-year old Tyler Page was watching an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” featuring a story on child trafficking in Ghana with his mom, Laura.
It was February, 2007 — the date significant only because it ignited Tyler’s beginning as a youthpreneur.
Tyler was aghast to learn that children, his age and younger, were being sold by their own parents into slavery. For as little as $20-dollars a month, fishermen could “buy” these children and force them to work twelve hour days with just one meal and little or no water.
Tyler wanted to “do” what he could to save at least one child from becoming a slave for an entire year. He told his mom his goal was to raise $240-dollars (one child $20/month X 12 months = $240/year).
To do this, he recruited friends and opened a roadside business — a hand car-washing service which they intended to run until their goal was met. In just one weekend, Tyler raised more than $1,000. It was to be his first taste of success as a social entrepreneur.
Inspired by the ability to save more than one Ghanaian child’s life, Tyler and his team of friends, family and community members tried out a variety of business models. From rummage sales to hair-cuts, Tyler Page found ways to incorporate the community into his mission of saving children halfway around the world. In just six months, $20,000 were raised, and a local news station picked up his story.
Turning inspiration into action, Tyler’s family created Kids Helping Kids Leadership Academy, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating children on how to transform their passion into purpose, while helping children in need. Their mission is to create global transformation one child at a time…all while using entrepreneurship as a foundation.
Meeting monthly to discuss topics such as integrity, accountability, time management, leadership skills, conflict management, communication and goal setting, Tyler’s leadership academy focuses on cause, community and kids.
By allowing kids to contribute ideas, create their own fundraising campaigns and be in charge, Tyler’s Leadership Academy effectively cultivates and ignites kidpreneurs.
To date, more than 300 local kids from his hometown have participated in Tyler’s vision of how to make the world a better place.
Some, like Brianna Howell, have expanded on Tyler’s ideas, by collecting Christmas gifts for each rescued child. Brianna’s initiative resulted in a team from Kids Helping Kids assembling her collected items into 500 bookbags filled with personalized Christmas cards, school supplies and candy.
From goal setting to budgeting, and location to marketing, kids are given step-by-step processes so that their ideas can be implemented as successful social enterprises.
For more information on Tyler’s leadership academy visit www.kidzhelpingkids.org and to join Tyler by opening your own Roadside Business, visit www.KooDooZ.com to create a free account where you can track your hours of service, funds raised and network with other kids.