Rylee Brooke Kamahele, a 13-year-old from Mililani Hawaii, wins award for galvanizing youth to organize Christmas celebrations for children in need and initiating a variety of volunteer opportunities for young people.
Rylee was just 8 years old when she decided she wanted to start making her own impact. She had persuaded charitable organizations to let her volunteer with them and recruited other young people to join her. From there, Rylee started an organization called “Love Is A Verb” that organized numerous beach cleanups, provided Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless, and entertained kids at shelters.
Rylee and her team gave out 320 turkeys with the NFL running back Marshawn Lynch during this years Thanksgiving. She also does donation drives and raises money to provide gifts for kids staying in shelters and hosts holiday parties for them. This project in particular has already expanded to three shelters and one youth program, treating more than 300 kids to a memorable day with food, gifts, games, shaved-ice trucks and slush machines.
All of her initiatives are under the umbrella of “The Catalyst Club,” an organization she founded to equip young people to be agents of change. Throughout the pandemic Rylee has continued her volunteer efforts and this holiday season is continuing food distributions for families in need, distributing 2,500 boxes of food every other week.
Rylee is also running a donation drive for a nonverbal little boy who needs an iPad to communicate—raising money for the iPad, the programs he needs, and a protective case.
Rylee was named one of America’s Top Youth Volunteers by the 2020 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.