In 2016, seventh-grade history teacher Kelsea Turner gave her students 20 percent of their class time to work on a service project.
Along with his peers, Adom Appiah came up with a theoretical way to give back to their community — which he soon turned into an actual nonprofit!
The teen decided to use his love of sports as the backbone of his initiative, which he named Ball4Good. His mission was to invite local figures, college and professional athletes, and celebrities to participate in a basketball game for charity.
Kelsea was so impressed with the concept that she helped him bring it to life, while Adom used his own birthday money to get them started!
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In 2017, Adom hosted his first charity basketball tournament, which drew an audience of around 800 people in Spartanburg, South Carolina. All proceeds from the event went to a local Boys and Girls club, and that was only the beginning!
Since then, Adom has transformed Ball4Good into a formal nonprofit. To get to this point, he collaborated with a variety of mentors to ensure he had everything he needed to turn his seventh-grade project into a real-life charity.
Now, in addition to hosting celebrity sporting events, Ball4Good also arranges fundraisers, leads charity drives, and writes grants to continue giving back to the community.
Within just three years, Adom was able to raise $70,000 for organizations focused on cancer, autism, homelessness, and more!
Of course, the humble teen simply said, “It’s always been instilled in me to volunteer.”
He is still working to expand Ball4Good, but he’s also focusing on getting younger kids involved in these wonderful efforts. He hopes to inspire them to find joy in giving back — and to come up with their own innovative approaches. After all, if he can do it, he believes anyone can!
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