Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

My Campus Celebrity: Kenny Haisfield

Not many people can claim that they’re a CEO by the time they graduate college, and yet Kenny Haisfield managed to do it in high school. He and a friend founded CEO4Teens, which stands for Creating Educational Opportunities, when they were required to do community service for the National Honor Society in his hometown of Boulder, CO. He had been to Indonesia and seen first-hand how the extreme poverty makes it hard for bright students to continue their education past high school, so he decided to make his community hours worth a little more. They had their local community sponsor them to do community service hours and ended up raising enough money to fund a class of ten student’s tuition for degrees in English and Computer Skills with $10,000. Now, 5 years later, CEO4Teens has put an astonishing 50 students through college and continues to raise money through social media. One scholarship was raised completely through twitter, making this charity cool and fun to help! #winning

 HC: How did you first come up with the idea for CEO4Teens?

 KH: My grandmother has lived in Indonesia for ten years, and my family and I visited her when I was in high school and it was amazing seeing a new part of the world, but also my first time in a third world setting. I could tell there were young students that did well in high school and yet further education opportunities weren’t available. I came back from that trip truly affected and tried to figure out what could I do to help someone out over there. My friend, Brooks Dyroff, and I wanted to show that service hours is about more than logging hours, but about changing yourself. We had people pledge money for the community service hours we logged. Our original goal was to sponsor one student at $1,000 and it was more well-received than we had ever imagined. We knew we needed to make sure the money was going where it needed to and we ended up sponsoring a class of ten students in that first year.

HC: I saw in the video you went to Indonesia to meet the students, how was that?

KH: The first year we went to Indonesia was a life changing experience in itself. It was obvious to us that these kids we were helping, their lives were changing; but ours were too. Teachers in our high school showed the video in their social studies classes and intro to business classes so it was nice to know we had hometown support. People donated air miles and money to help us get there.

HC: One scholarship was awarded completely through Twitter, how did that work?

KH: We raised money and awarded our first SMS “Social Media Scholarship” by putting on a Tweet4Teens drive to show our generation that we can use social media to make a difference, through social networking large amounts of people can make small donations to create enormous change. Individual students pledged $1 for every follower they received, at the end someone made a donation to match all our money and through that we raised $1,300.

 HC: What can people do right now to help CEO4Teens?

 KH: Now we’re using a YouTube video to raise money to create a second social media scholarship. This summer I went to Indonesia to do home visits and picked the young lady who will receive the scholarship, and it was incredible experience, I had complete chills realizing that through the power of social media there is a kid half way around the world that can go to school. That has encouraged us to find new ways to incorporate social media to help CEO4Teens.

HC: So when people watch the video money is raised for scholarships?

KH: Yes, we have a sponsor in Boston who wanted to make a large donation for us but wanted his donation to increase our awareness. So we made this video to get out information about our twitter scholarship so that people see it’s possible, and that we can raise money for another scholarship. We set the video at ten cents a view, and that will encourage us to find people to help us and get the video out to show our generation that change is possible when you’re just on your computer or cell phone. People can also buy our apparel we have hats, tanks and sunglasses. Just by buying any of these you’re helping a kid go to school, spreading the word and donating money. They all say I’m CEO and the message is that anyone can help create educational opportunities.

HC: What other organizations are you involved in on campus?

KH: I’m involved in Carolina Microfinance Initative, which raises awareness about how microfinance can be a catalyst for change, giving small loans to entrepreneurs worldwide. I’m also involved in Net Impact which looks at sustainable business practices. I’m a member of the UNC Club Ice Hockey team and I do Hip Hop Nation. I also really like snowboarding, and tweeting, and I guess travelling is kind of implied.

 HC: Do you have a motto or a quote that inspires you?

KH: “Success isn’t about comparing yourself to others; it’s about comparing your past self to your present self and seeing improvement,” Wayan, the Director of Campuhan College, told me this and I really appreciate his outlook on life and how he always stays positive.

Check out these videos and the CEO4Teens website to learn more, just by clicking this link you raise ten cents to send a student in Indonesia to school, making yourself a CEO. Follow them on Twitter @CEO4Teens with more info on how to stay involved!

Brittany is a senior Visual Communications major in the UNC-CH School of Journalism and an Entrepreneurship minor, originally from Frederick, MD. This summer she interned in the fashion department of O, The Oprah Magazine in NYC. She has interned at the Durham Herald-Sun Newspaper and as a multi-media producer for the UNC Foreign Language Department and School of Education. Brittany enjoys snowboarding, rock climbing, water sports and all things to do with the beach. In the future she hopes to work in the magazine industry, travel and continue practicing yoga.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️