Ryan questions everything — and his curiosity for the world led him to start Charitable Crusaders, a nonprofit focused on inspiring young people to get involved in their community.
The Charitable Crusaders’ story began with a toy drive for a local children’s hospital. Ryan and his friends raised an astounding nine toys — not bad for a group of 11-year-olds. But Ryan wanted to do more.
Inspired by his mom’s favorite advice, “the worst thing anyone can say is ‘no,’” Ryan never felt anything was out of reach. Once he got to high school, Charitable Crusaders focused on creating high-impact programs that supported people experiencing financial hardship.
One program was Slay Hunger, an initiative that provided meals to people without homes. By creating partnerships with food-related businesses such as Panera Bread and Starbucks, high school volunteers helped deliver over 50,000 meals to those struggling with homelessness.
Convinced kids should support fellow Texans after natural disasters struck, Ryan asked his school district for a bus to transport middle and high school students to help. This kicked off Hearts as Big as Texas, the nation’s first youth-led disaster relief group.
Charitable Crusaders also supported families in their local community experiencing hardship. Student volunteers hosted a fundraiser when tragedy struck and rallied the community together.
In partnership with another local nonprofit, Charitable Crusaders hosted a Back to School Summer Bash: an event that prepared 10,000 underserved kids for the new school year with vaccinations, school supplies, and haircuts.
You may think this is how we got our start in education — but we were really inspired by a young girl named Nala.
After Ryan graduated high school, he got a full ride to the school of his Dreams. It wasn’t anything like he imagined, but it made Ryan even more unafraid to Dream. Learn more
Ryan was named Texas’ Top Youth Volunteer in 2017 through The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and was recognized by Olympic medalist Michael Phelps. Ryan also received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Ryan lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and is working toward a Master of Professional Accountancy.