Philanthropist Kids, Timothy Hwang

by Jay Karlson

Fear for the next generation? You’re not alone. If you’re not in the right frame of mind, it’s easy to see kids today as over-stimulated, over-entitled and terminally self-involved. How could they not be? They’re bombarded by influences seemingly determined to rob them of all innocence and feeling for their fellow man. Just look at the felonious role models, ubersexed music, violent video games and truly disturbing toys being marketed to them 24/7. YIKES.

Fortunately, it’s easy to get out of this frame of mind and back to reality. There are some great kids out there doing some great things. Submitted for your approval are 10 Young Philanthropists, and they deserve the spotlight more than Britney or Lindsay’s latest rehab stint.

Here is the first one! Stay tuned for the next 9 amazing kids.

On June 16, 2009, Timothy Hwang, a junior at Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, MD, was named Youth Entrepreneur of the Year for the Greater Washington Region by Ernst & Young and Junior Achievement of the National Capital Area. Timothy, who is 17, was honored for founding Operation Fly Inc., a non-profit organization that provides services to the homeless in Washington, DC and four other major cities.

Timothy founded Operation Fly Inc. in 2007 after witnessing extreme poverty while volunteering in Guatemala two years prior. In an effort to combat the problem locally, Timothy recruited several of his friends to help the homeless in Washington, DC, funding the organization’s efforts by offering a low-cost tutoring program to area students. Since then, Operation Fly Inc. has expanded to involve hundreds of high school students at 20 chapters in Washington, DC, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, and Boston. More information about Operation Fly Inc. can be found at www.operationfly.org.

For more information about the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Competition, please visit www.myJA.org/students/yeoty/.

Gail CookPhilanthropist Kids, Timothy Hwang