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The Power of Children Awards—Past Winner Says "Act Now!"

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"39225","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","alt":"timothy"}}]]In this blog post, 2012 The Power of Children Awards recipient, Tim Balz, highlights his project and passion for technology. Tim is the President and Founder of Freedom Chairs. If you, or someone you know in grades 6-11, are making an extraordinary difference in the lives of other, nominate them for the Power of Children Awards at childrensmuseum.org/poca.

The way to make a difference in the world is to act now. The Power of Children Awards, presented by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, has enabled me to act now. Before I received this award, I was struggling to keep up with the growing demand for donations that Freedom Chairs was providing. The only money that I had access to was in my personal savings, which was dwindling fast.

Freedom Chairs originally started when I saw a fellow student doing his recycling job at Plainfield High School using a manual wheelchair, and I was curious as to why the student wasn’t able to use an electric wheelchair. I found out that the student’s insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of one and I knew I wanted to do something about it. I have been helping others in similar situations ever since.

Fixing a wheelchair typically takes about $150. Not only did the Power of Children Award grant provide the resources for more than thirteen wheelchairs, but it also increased awareness for Freedom Chairs. As a result of this awareness, there has been an outpouring of support from the community. Freedom Chairs has continued to expand the reach of its service.

I will be attending Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology this fall with a major in Mechanical Engineering. Because of the skills that Freedom Chairs has provided me, I will be working a full time, paid internship through Rose-Hulman this summer for a company called Freedom One Mobility. I plan to continue with my work with Freedom Chairs through college.

If you want to make a change, the best time is to start now.

For more information on Tim’s project, watch his video...

2011 Winner Update:

Last year we highlighted 2011 Power of Children Awards winner Krystal Shirrell in our blog. We have just received some wonderful news about her winning project and continued work. Krystal was recently honored at a ceremony in Durham, NC as the Veterans Administration National Outstanding Youth Volunteer and was awarded the $20,000 Parke Scholarship. Watch the Parke Scholarship video.











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