Up to the Challenge
Teenager Recieves Prestigious Award
At only 9 years old, Hot Springs native Kye Masino created KYE-YAC, a youth advisory council focused on volunteering for countless organizations with a variety of causes.
“I was inspired, actually, by the death of my grandmother, who was a very philanthropic person,” Masino said of the group's founding. “Her death really inspired me to go and do something for a greater cause.”
KYE-YAC's members are all teenagers now but they continue to give back to communities all across Arkansas by working with groups such as the Ouachita Children's Center, UAMS Division of Genetics, Arkansas Hospice and Arkansas Children's Hospital. Masino, now 16, said the actual number of organizations he has partnered with is so large he can't even begin to list all of them. The group has raised nearly half a million dollars since its beginnings.
He is still active with KYE-YAC, but as of December is also a member of the Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots National Youth Leadership Council, a humanitarian youth program created by the Jane Goodall Institute. According to the Roots & Shoots website, the program encourages young people to identify challenges in their neighborhoods, develop a plan for a solution and take action. It began in 1991 when 12 teenagers met with Goodall in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, about their concerns in the community. The network has since grown into more than 150,000 members in over 130 countries.
As one of 37 members of the 2015