Up to the Chal­lenge

Teenager Re­cieves Pres­ti­gious Award

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - In This Issue - By Caitlin LaFarlette, photograph­y by Mara Kuhn

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

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