NOMINATION ESSAY BY KEVIN KASSEL
After learning that Hurley sends water filters with its professional surfers all over the world during a tour of their headquarters during my sophomore year of high school, I asked to bring one on a trip of my own. I didn’t realize the impact water could have on a life until giving the filter to the principal of the elementary school where I was teaching English in the Galapagos Islands. When I reached out to give the man a handshake, he pulled me in for a hug. After this experience, I began sending water filters with friends and family traveling to developing countries and realized I could do much more to help the nearly 800 million that lacked the right to clean water. At sixteen, I formed Club H2O which has, to date, distributed over 300 water filters to 24 countries around the world, with the potential to give over 30,000 people access to clean water.
By sending water filters with people and groups traveling to destinations in need, we eliminated all costs of shipping and potential issues with corrupt governments. At about the size of soda can, each $50 filter has the capacity to provide over 100 people with access to clean water for ten years with little maintenance.
Since continuing to USC, I have led Club H2O to adapt its organizational structure, member responsibilities, and fundraising efforts tremendously to remain successful and grow further. After addressing these internal changes, I soon discovered an amazing opportunity that would create a positive impact on the USC community while fundraising for Club H2O. By partnering with the talented musicians of the Thorton School of Music and entrepreneurial mobile app developers throughout USC, we created immensely successful concert fundraisers that introduce the student population to up-and-coming USC bands and help kickstart Trojan-made mobile apps by advertising them at the events. Club H2O is well on its way to achieving our $30,000 annual revenue goal.
We continue to establish partnerships with organizations and individuals in and near USC to distribute water filters around the globe and increase the impact we can make on communities. Last June, Club H2O sent over fifty filters with the Keck School of Medicine during their relief trip to Nepal after the earthquake. Some of the other groups that we have sent water filters with include USC Medlife and the Global Medical Brigades. Club H2O is an effective, collaborative organization.
I have spearheaded Club H2O’s efforts to attain 501(c)(3) non-profit status and am working with a manufacturer to develop water filters with similar characteristics at a fraction of the cost. Another important goal for the near future is that Club H2O operates in a way that will allow the organization to run sustainably, far past my graduation.
This post was written by Admin3