PERREAULT Magazine MARCH | APRIL 2016 - Page 25

JP: I read that you sit on President Obama’s Youth Council. And you have organized youth crews on six continents. What led to that invitation? And how do you organize the crews?

X: The Obama thing was interesting. First he gave me this award, Changemaker of the Year award, out of thousands of young people who were nominated. I received a signed letter from him and a pin. Then he selected this team of young people from around the country who were doing good work for the community and contributing in a positive way, and he put us on a Youth Council. It was pretty wild but I don’t really know how it happened. I guess he decided what I was doing through the attention from social media, the way that all these crews popped up, that was kind of important?

So before this film Kid Warrior came out, made by an amazing filmmaker named Vanessa Black, there were about 60 kids crews around the planet on six continents. After she made this film, now there are about 672 crews, because that film went viral and millions of people saw it. And what I am doing here in my own community is inspiring young people around the planet – inspiring them to change the world.

I love to tell people I am nobody and just a 15 year old, there’s nothing special about me. Things like if I graduate from college, I will be the first one in my family on my dad’s side. I wasn’t raised with any extra privileges. I was raised with a lot less. And the thing that’s amazing is that I never ever would have been able to see the world if it were not for this. The work that I am doing has opened up more doors for me than anything else I possibly could have done in my life. So I am a normal 15 year old kid with a dream and who’s relentless in chasing it.

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