Nathaniel Feil of Estacada, Oregon is one of those guys that has a hard time with the word "No". The graduating senior from Estacada High School was chosen as one of Pamplin Media's "Amazing Kids" because of his determination and commitment to helping people in need.
Nathaniel's compassion and drive have taken him around the world. He's spent time in India extending compassion and care to a leper community and worked on a water supply and solar lighting project in Haiti.
"I'm pretty stubborned when it comes to some things. I don't give up easy", Nathaniel says of his commitment to helping others. "If I go somewhere to help, I don't like to just show up and do something, I want to make a permanent difference. When I leave a place I want to know my efforts change lives for the better, now and into the future".
Nathaniel's dedication to long term change are sometimes met with skepticism or indifference. "Sometimes people say that 'it's just a drop in the bucket and probably won't make that big of a difference', but hey, that's one drop. That's better than doing nothing at all", he says.
This focus and determination to help others isn't reserved for projects overseas alone. Nathaniel works as hard locally as he does globally. "Who I am in India is who I am at home." says Nathaniel. "We've got people suffering right here in Estacada that need help. I'm full right now, you probably are too, but that isn't the case for everyone. There's hunger and homelessness... and people struggling with drug addiction - I want to do things that help solve these problems no matter where I am.".
When Nathaniel isn't playing soccer or on missions trips, he works with the Estacada Teen Mentor program, a program that connects high school students with elementary school students once a week. During their weekly meetings Nathaniel and others like him, help the younger kids develop stronger social skills and build self confidence. "It's probably one of my favorite things I do", he says.
Nathaniel's passion to help others and build community will be leading him into the Coast Guard this summer. "I chose to pursue the Coast Guard because it's a little more about helping people in need than maybe some of the other branches of the service. I looked into the Navy, but the Coast Guard seemed to be more about who I am.". His eight year commitment to the Coast Guard will take Nathaniel far from home, but there's no doubt that he'll have a positive impact no matter where he is.
Please join us in saluting Nathaniel's efforts to make the world a better place, one compassionate act at a time. Truly an "Amazing Kid".
About the "Amazing Kids" program
In 2014 Pamplin Media Group created an event that would honor young people who are doing admirable acts in each of their respective communities. These young people were committed to making a difference in the world, proving that there is hope for future generations.
As a result, the Pamplin Media Group has committed each year to host an event to honor young people who are committed to improving their local communities - and the world at large. We call these young people our Amazing Kids.
Suggestions for nominees for Amazing Kids come from parents, educators and a variety of other sources throughout the 25 communities the Pamplin Media Group serves.
The Amazing Kids range in age from elementary school to high school and they come from all types of family backgrounds. What sets them apart, more than anything else, is their consideration for others.
Our Amazing Kids work to ease the suffering in their communities - even though they may be suffering themselves.
Coastal is a proud corporate sponsor of the Amazing Kids event at OMSI in Portland, Oregon. We believe in the power of our youth to bring a positive change to the world and work to support the efforts of those who take time to spotlight these young men and women.