In every community, there is work to be done.
In every nation, there are wounds to heal.
In every heart, there is the power to do it.
Through the generations, my family’s guiding principles are largely focused on the simplicity and joy of community and the power of joining together. In a world that can be disconnected and hardened, I feel a growing sense of urgency for my 11 year-old son Ty to honor his roots and learn the ‘Larson way’ of putting people first.
My father, Robert Larson, was a man who exemplified what it means to be a leader. Celebrated for his accomplishments, he always maintained with me the importance of humility, letting your work ethic be the example you set, and to look beyond your personal borders out into the world. So to that end, we traveled. Mom and Dad showed us many places, and when he and I visited Kenya, I found myself inspired by the resilience of the people I met and their deep sense of community. I found myself wanting to touch the hearts of Kenyans, as they had touched mine.
The legacy left by my father is something I carry on with the Deep Haven Fund. In one direction, I look at the path he set, in the other, I see the brightness of my son’s light gathering energy toward his own future. It inspires me to help build the bridge for other children, who otherwise have nowhere to turn. I know how the power of education transforms communities. To be part of Flying Kite’s work is an honor. Please, join us, and learn more about the classroom we have funded, and our annual scholarships through LaunchPad.
Yours in gratitude,
Progress to date:
Since 2014, The Larson Leadership Fund has provided twenty students with on-going access to secondary schools. Many of these students, who cannot afford tuition, but have demonstrated academic promise, commitment and a capacity for leadership, are currently enrolled in top schools all over Kenya. See some of their profiles here. The Larson Leadership Fund has been instrumental in the creation of LaunchPad, a program that provides vulnerable teens with access to year-round support and intensive workshops focused on healthy choices and life-skills. In August 2016, 92% of students enrolled cited in increase an their communication abilities, 79% felt dramatically better prepared to transition our of high school, and 86% said they were better prepared to approach potential employers.
In addition, in mid-2016, thanks to the commitment of The Larson Leadership Fund, Flying Kites was able to develop two additional workshops to meet the needs of our students: a self-care initiative for HIV+ Youth (see an overview here) and an after-school club aimed at preventing child marriage and gender-based violence (see overview here).
The Larson Classroom will be constructed in mid-2017.