Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kid! of the Month – Will Lourcey – August 2016

Written by Catherine Cheng, AKOM Writer
Will Lourcey, 13-year-old FROGs Founder

 

Quote of the Month

“Youth have the energy and passion to achieve whatever they desire.”
– Will Lourcey, 13-year-old FROGs Founder

August Amazing Kid! of the Month

August is an end that begins a new chapter. As summer draws to an end, many things come to completion. Sunshine begins to recede and the time until school starts up again seems so short. The end of summer isn’t just tragic though, it is also exciting. For some of you this may be the summer before elementary school, middle school, high school, or even college. You are about to embark on a new journey. This August, make a plan, follow through, and dream big.

Will Lourcey is someone who had a goal and a plan to achieve it. Despite his young age he was determined to make a difference and founded Friends Reaching Our Goals or FROGs as a result. His organization has fed thousands of hungry people.

Keep reading to find out more about Will Lourcey and FROGs!

Will Lourcey handles snacks for a FROGs event.

Will Lourcey handles snacks for a FROGs event.

Step One: Plan

When Will was seven, he saw a man on a street corner holding a sign that said: NEED A MEAL. It left him deeply saddened knowing that there were people who went without food even in a developed nation like the United States. He knew he had to do something about it.

In fact, when asked what he would change if he could change only one thing about the world, Will said he would make fresh, affordable food accessible to everyone. In his words, “food insecurity is a massive problem in America, and this is mainly caused by food deserts, or areas where the civilian population lacks access to fresh affordable food.”

Will Lourcey and other FROGs members serve salad to the hungry.

Will Lourcey and other FROGs members serve salad to the hungry.

Determined to end hunger, a social injustice, Will made a plan. He believes that the answer to uprooting hunger lies with youth. Youth, Will asserts, have the energy and passion it takes to achieve anything. The key to unlocking their potential, in Will’s opinion, lies in uniting them. To help encourage kids to make the world a better place together, Will started Friends Reaching Our Goals or the nonprofit FROGS. Suitably, he made the organization’s motto “Having Fun While Helping Others.”

Step Two: Implement

In implementing his plan, Will faced a big hurdle. Because he was still young, many adults underestimated and doubted him. They labeled him as just “a little kid with big ideas.” Will didn’t let that stop him though, for he believed that no matter how small he was, he could make a big difference.

When FROGs started expanding, the doubt of the adults around him disappeared as well. Today, FROGs and Will have accomplished some great things.

For example, at the FROGs Dinner Club Will also implemented, Will uses food as a tool to break down barriers between youth and unite the social group into a cohesive unit working for good. During the event, around 50 kids are provided a “dining experience.” This truly means a lot for disadvantaged kids, some of whom have never dined in an actual restaurant before. Then, after the meal, the kids participate in a service project to pay it forward because everyone can make a difference.

Through the Tarrant Area Food Bank and FROGs Dinner Club, Will has helped provide over 200,000 meals for the hungry. At the same time, he has helped pack over 60,000 bags of food for children and served over 10,000 families through the Mobile Food Pantry.

His most recent project, “Score on Hunger” helped Will become a Jefferson Awards Foundation LEAD360 finalist. LEAD360, a competition that pairs worthy youth service projects with officials and organizations will help bring FROGs’ mission to the entire nation. “Score on Hunger,” specifically, focuses on battling hunger through sports. It encourages kids to seek business, family, and friend sponsors, who then donate $1 or a food item for every point or goal scored during a game. It’s a great way to encourage youth to be active in the community and have fun while they’re at it! With Jefferson Awards Foundation’s help, Will’s project is gaining tremendous support.

Will Lourcey and his baseball teammates hold up food items they raised for the needy.

Will Lourcey and his baseball teammates hold up food items they raised for the needy.

Step Three: Have Fun

Last, but not least, never forget to have fun while you’re at it. Part of the reason why FROGs is so successful is because it teaches youth that service and giving back is fun. Having fun while giving back inspires others to join and makes it more likely for continued involvement in service activities as well. While fun is not everything, it is definitely an important ingredient in generating long-term impact.

As you begin a new chapter of your life or finish an old one, ask yourself what your goals are, how you’re going to achieve them, and if you’ll have fun while doing so. Never be afraid to shoot for the stars, because even if you miss, you’ll gain experiences that will be well worth the effort.