LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- The FOX 4 Young Achiever of the Week lives by the mantra, "There's no age limit to start to make a change."
Eighth grader Corbin Healy demonstrates that in big ways. And one of those ways is to inspire other young people to do good -- by joining him in important community projects and by creating and leading projects of their own.
It was a modest and realistic goal Corbin Healy had for a new community service project right after Thanksgiving. That's when he got his brother, Conner, and a few friends from his neighborhood and his school, Summit Christian Academy, to join him in a coat drive for homeless people in the metro area.
"We were expecting 100 coats," Corbin recalls. "My friend, on that Wednesday night that we sat down, he told me, 'Well, just for the heck of it, let's raise it up to 150.'" But on collection weekend at the school, they got more than 800 coats donated.
"It was just miraculous," says Corbin. "God blessed it so fast. We didn't think it was going to happen like this and it did."
And then the elementary school kids at Summit Christian Academy got excited about joining in. And over the next few days, they and their families brought in another 700 coats for the drive -- more than 1500 total -- all for the people served by a downtown Kansas City-based organization called Hope Faith Ministries.
"It's just been so exciting to see how great we have succeeded throughout this short period of time," says Corbin.
"He's so good at so many things, he really is," says Anne Mussatti with an admiring laugh. Mussatti is the the speech and debate coach and student council advisor at Summit Christian Academy. She says the school has grown accustomed to this 8th grader doing big things.
"He has both a fun side but also this very serious, 'I'm going to set a goal for myself and I'm accomplishing those goals'," says Mussatti.
Corbin's an academic powerhouse, a gifted musician, an all-around star athlete and a deeply sincere and charismatic leader other kids and adults just just naturally want to follow.
"I think many of us adults, we have good ideas that we don't follow through on," says Mussatti.
"Students have good ideas that they don't follow through on. But the thing about Corbin is, he has good ideas and it happens. He makes it happen. Whether you are an adult or whether you are a student. you see that and you are drawn to that kind of energy and that kind of compassion and commitment to others. And that really makes him an amazing kid to be around and people just want to be around him."
Corbin already is amazingly organized and visionary in his charity work and philanthropy. He's even created his own officially registered not-for-profit organization -- teens4good (http://teens4good.org/).
"We want to inspire and set a fire in the hearts of those teenagers to do good for people who do not have the privileges that we do," says Corbin.
Creating his not-for-profit organization and setting up the mechanism for it came out of a high-level week-long People-to-People youth leadership conference at Stanford University that Corbin attended last summer. He won the grand prize there for community service project ideas.
"I try living by a quote," says Corbin. "'Dare to walk the path that others have feared to travel and a leader shall be born.' And the goal of teens4good is to make teenagers want to live by that. They want to be that leader. They want to step up. And they want to help. They want to make a change in people's lives and the world."
Just like Corbin.
Corbin actually got started with his philanthropy when he was in third grade and he did a fundraiser for a friend with cystic fibrosis. He raised $600. And as he keeps expanding teens4good, one of the next projects Corbin has in the works is a big charity auction at the upcoming Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys conference to raise even more money for CF causes.
For more information about teens4good, go to http://teens4good.org/.
FOX 4 News is Working 4 You to spotlight outstanding young people and their positive accomplishments. In our weekly report called Reaching 4 Excellence, we meet young achievers in subjects like academics, the arts, leadership, community service, volunteerism, career exploration, overcoming obstacles and heroism.
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