The holiday season is well underway, and many people take this time to show support for their communities or do volunteer work. GivingTuesday is a global initiative that began in 2012, inspiring millions of people to celebrate generosity…on this day and EVERY DAY.
Laurel Springs Upper School student, Michaela Sewall, is truly the epitome of this uplifting movement. Even though she has many priorities, she finds time to run a nonprofit organization, while following her passion for ice dancing and fulfilling her academic responsibilities.
Michaela’s nonprofit, Cakes 4 Kids, provides birthday cakes for children living at the ACT Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center. Michaela started this as a hobby in her free time. “I bake a lot,” she said, “and I decided to start donating birthday cakes to shelters. I find it so gratifying to bring a little bit of happiness and sunshine into these children’s lives during such a hard time.”
Laurel Springs empowers Michaela to pursue her charity work, while keeping up with a rigorous practice schedule for ice skating. “This school [allows] students to follow their dreams and really become innovators,” Michaela said. “The teachers and all the staff are amazing. They have been so helpful and influential during my academic career.”
A Look Ahead for Michaela
Michaela intends to grow her nonprofit as time moves along. She said, “I am hoping to expand this project in the future and have other teenagers begin supplying cakes for other branches of this shelter or others.”
As for her future plans, she wants to take her skating career as far as she can. “After I’m finished with that, I want to do my undergrad in computer science or biomedical engineering, and then maybe an M.D./J.D program. I’m also interested in astrophysics,” she laughed, “but that’s a totally different kind of path.”
What advice does Michaela have for young people who are looking to make a difference in the world? “Don’t ever think that your dream is too big, and never let anyone tell you what your limits are. Only you can decide that,” she said. “Don’t ever believe that you aren’t making an impact, even if you aren’t doing something on a global level. Even the smallest things make a difference.”