Y Teens Helping Haiti


One day Kylah Smook was listening to a podcast like many teens do during their free time. But on this particular day, she learned about the water crisis in Haiti and she immediately wanted to help.


The 18-year-old recruited friends from the Teen Leaders’ Club at the Northwest Hillsborough Family YMCA. Together with Healing Waters International, they decided to raise $15,000 to build a water well in Haiti. The mission is especially daunting for teenagers…but not for these Y teens. “Even as teens you can still make a big impact in this world,” says Kylah. “Even though people think of us as just kids, we can live up to any potential that we believe in.”


Morgan Kelley is one of the 75 Teen Leaders involved in the project. “Everyone’s super excited and a lot of people want to help,” shares Morgan. “We are overwhelmed with happiness being able to set a goal that is so high.”


So far, Kylah and her friends have raised more than $9,500. They’re confident they’ll achieve their objective. “I hope when other people see a group of teens are taking on a project to raise $15,000 to build this well, they’re going to take it as, ‘Wow! These teens can do this, what can I do to change my community for the better?’”


This is only a fraction of what’s to come from Teen Leaders’ Club, a Tampa Y program giving teens the opportunity to get involved in the community, build new relationships and learn what it truly means to be a leader. “I think it’s going to be very empowering,” testifies Kylah, “It’s going to make us immediately want to do more and think of the next big project we can do.”


If you would like to help the teens meet their goal, dine out Dec. 4 at the Chipotle in Westchase on Linebaugh Avenue. Part of the sales from 5-9pm will go toward the Teen Leaders’ Haiti well project. Just make sure to mention that you are there for the Y!



Pictured above: Kylah Smook (far right) and 75 Teen Leaders from the Northwest Y are raising money to build a water well in Haiti. 

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