While most teens were making plans for their summer vacation, Conner Cress was colliding with a world of poverty that would forever change his life. Looking through a magazine, he saw pictures of incredibly malnourished and dehydrated babies in Africa - and he was wrecked. He told his friends (also in high school) about the article, and they decided to do something instead of sit back and watch people die from dirty water (or lack of it). They founded DryTears by making simple rubber bracelets and selling them to their friends and family. This turned into t-shirt sales and buttons - all going toward building wells in Africa. Since their inception, these young guys have built wells in Burkina Faso, Swaziland, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. Their impact and inspiration continue to grow as their story spreads. In the past year they have frequented conferences geared towards ideamakers, visited the WhiteHouse to talk of change, and were featured in a book about doing the hard things in life.
I met these kids - Conner, Kyle and Jared - a couple years ago and was immediately inspired by their willingness to see something that needs to be changed and do it - despite their age.
Since meeting them, I use their story constantly in my classroom for my students who feel they are too young to make any sort of effective and creative change to a problem they see in society. Now, Conner and the boys are in college, studying and pursuing better ways to involve others in their campaign. Check out their website
to see how you can help.