What started off as a clever method for a 10-year-old to save money for college turned into a project that is making the world a better place.
Genshu Price of Hawaii is especially aware of the high cost of living. In order to have enough money to go to college one day, his dad suggested recycling as a way to save up.
At first, Genshu did just that, but then he was struck with a brilliant, empathetic idea: What if he recycled so he could help others go to college, too?
“Hawaii already has very high living costs. COVID made that even harder,” Genshu said. “I want to give a way for students who may not … have been able to go to college by themselves.”
And so Bottles 4 College was born! With a lofty goal of collecting 2 to 4 million cans and bottles annually to fund up to two students’ college tuition, he had a lot of work ahead of him.
According to his mom, Maria Price, he started off by scouting out places like beaches and parks. At Little League Baseball games, Genshu would ask spectators if they were finished with their drinks and offer to take them.
Three years later, his project has grown considerably. The novel coronavirus pandemic has only seemed to help him gain traction.
Genshu has brought in support from local businesses and schools, which allow him to have drop-off depots at their locations. So far, he’s been able to collect over 100,000 bottles and cans.
“People saw this as a way to give an opportunity back to local families, especially since the pandemic has hit everyone so hard, especially the kids,” he said.
Bottles 4 College is founded on four pillars: education, environment, community, and lifestyle.
“We’re helping the environment by recycling,” Genshu said. “We’re helping education by providing scholarship funds for Hawaii kids and inspiring them to want to get a good education. And then you’re bringing communities together.”
Lastly, lifestyle represents the way in which the other pillars become a part of people’s everyday lives. Recycling is a lifestyle, and Genshu hopes his project will inspire others to pursue it.
This talented eighth-grader is also an aspiring filmmaker. Combining his passions, Genshu created a documentary all about the work he’s doing with Bottles 4 College. You can also find videos on his YouTube channel, where he encourages everyone to recycle and provides guides on how to do it.
“We still have a little bit to go to get to the place where we want to be, but it’s definitely exciting,” Genshu said. “In school, they teach you how to treat other people how you want to be treated. And especially at a time like during the pandemic, that phrase really comes into play.”
We’re so proud of Genshu for all the ways he’s making a difference in the world! Share this story to spread his important message.
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