While taking my two youngest boys to lunch yesterday I had a chance encounter with an amazing young lady, Saeli Kawakami. I truly believe everything happens for a reason and I’m grateful I was at the right place the right time yesterday, and that I was given the opportunity to help Saeli on her journey. This is her story:

I grew up with six other siblings in Orange County, California and from a very young age, I was affected by bullying. My older sister, Calen, who was also affected by bullying, and struggling with depression, was only 20 years old when she lost her life to suicide. 

It was situations like this that ignited my passion for helping others going through the same struggles. 

 During the time I grieved for my sister, I switched to homeschooling and began volunteering my time to a variety of programs, including The Braille Institute of Anaheim, where I taught therapeutic yoga to blind and visually impaired students. I did this up until I graduated high school in June 2015. 

It is my goal to help children struggling with bullying, and body image issues all over California and the world. Next Gen Academy (NGA) will allow me to travel to schools all over California, speaking to, and allowing the youth to have their own voice. I will also be able to attend service projects all over California and in four different countries in Africa.

 My goal is to raise enough money for tuition by September 27, which is when the full-year program begins. Thank you SO much for any amount of help in me completing my goal. 

Thank you, 
Saeli Kawakami 

I’m sure after reading Saeli’s story you’re feeling as I was, heartbroken that she’s had to experience such pain, and impressed that she has used that to drive her in such a positive direction. Please help Saeli with a donation in any amount you are able, so that she can take this incredible opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of so many children. Please share this story with others as well. Below is the link to her funding page.