Besides being the USA National Miss Illinois Jr Teen of 2022, this talented preteen has made an impact at such a young age. Kerry Koranteng is 13 years old and in 7th grade. Her hobbies include reading a good book, doing ballet, making lip gloss to help children in need, and donating towards her shoe drive initiative. Overall helping other people, in general, is her passion.
What inspired you to help people?
Whenever she sees someone in need, she goes straight into wanting to help them. Even if it is a small thing, she just loves helping people.
What started your passion for makeup?
When she traveled to Ghana to visit her aunt’s village, she witnessed so many children who were barefoot. Before this, she just enjoyed making stuff with her lip care business. This is what inspired her to start her own shoe initiative because she saw children who needed shoes and not just lip care. The lip gloss is also beneficial for them too.
How did it feel to see people in these challenging situations?
She felt heartbroken especially since many of the children were around her age. It saddened her that many teenagers her age were unable to act like kids and must worry about what adults do. They were robbed of their childhoods because of the conditions they lived in.
When did you start collecting shoes for your project?
Around 2019, she raised five hundred and in 2020, she raised over 1,000 with the help of house charities.
How does it feel and what do you think will be the future of your organization?
She feels glad she was able to create this opportunity for other children. For the future of this organization, she also hopes to expand it to support more children in different countries and continents. Not only does she intend to donate to more children in various places but includes hygienic products instead of only shoes. She recognizes children need more than just shoes.
What’s the future of your makeup business?
Her makeup business has gradually become more popular. She has been receiving many orders. The money she makes from her business will be donated to children from her shoe drive initiative.
You mentioned before that you liked to read, what is your favorite book?
Her favorite book is Big Al by Andrew Clement. It talks about the meaning of friendship, and she loves reading it to her baby brother.
What is your own motivational quote?
“We are all puzzle pieces; we need each other to complete the puzzle. So, if you see someone down, pick them up because we need them to complete the puzzle.”
What career do you imagine being when you grow up?
She would love to continue her work in her organization and aspires and wishes to be a corporate lawyer.
Tell us about the pageants you participate in?
She started doing pageants in 2019, she always loved rocking to the runway. pageants have helped her share her platform, especially during the pandemic.
What do you love most about doing pageants?
She loves how she can to spread her platforms. Pageants help her reach bigger crowds, which amplify her mission and joy in life.
How has COVID-19 impacted you?
She misses seeing her friends in person, but this time has handed her the time to think about extensive ideas. She loves science and during the pandemic, she realized she can do a lip care business. Even though COVID-19 has brought tough times, quarantining, on the bright side has helped bring new things into her life.
Did you have any concluding thoughts?
She remembers when she visited her aunt, she saw a child with a deep cut on his foot and that is when she realized that she needed to do something. She felt grateful that she was able to get shoes for kids like him in his condition.
A question for your mother, how does it feel to have a daughter with such a great passion for charity?
When she started it was with her shoes and she spread the story in the media and several people were inspired. Before she knew it her house was like a shoe store, and they were shocked at the shipping and how to get it to Ghana. Yet the family still supported their daughter in her mission. Even though it was stressful when they themselves went to give the shoes in person, they witnessed how the kids were happy with the shoes. That alone made the stress worth it since the impact they brought on the children’s life. Now with the help of a GoFundMe page that Kerry set up, the shipping is handled.
Written by Fatima Santoyo