Ryan Almusawi, 17, of Fort Worth, Texas, a junior at Saginaw High School, is the president and CEO of “Charitable Crusaders Inc.,” a nonprofit organization of high school students who work on a variety of service projects that benefit families in need. When he was a sixth-grader, Ryan and a small group of classmates made a pact to do some good. They came together to host small community projects, beginning with a toy drive for young patients at Cook Children’s Medical Center. As the group grew and gained experience under Ryan’s leadership, it established a board of directors, filed for nonprofit status, and planned increasingly ambitious endeavors.
Charitable Crusaders volunteers give backpacks stuffed with school supplies to children in need during an annual “Back to School” event. In December 2015, they rushed to nearby Garland, Texas, to help families recover from a tornado that struck the day after Christmas. When a local boy was struck and killed by a car, Ryan and his crew held a bake sale to raise money for the boy’s family. Currently, Charitable Crusaders is working to implement an after-school youth mentoring program at several local schools. “Philanthropy is an avenue that brings people from all races, cultures and backgrounds together for one common purpose: helping others,” said Ryan.