Whether in acting, modeling, music, or sports, the world is full of children in the pursuit of stardom. Among those few children who actually make it, people often make the assumption that stardom will negatively affect a child’s emotional growth and development.
Growing out of child stardom seems like a hard task. Using Disney channel actors as an example, it’s common to find negative articles floating around in Google. On the other hand, there are an impressive few who have made it into adulthood relatively unharmed, and seen as great representations and role models for our children.
Gabe Eggerling is on the path to be one of them.
Gabe is a star in Disney’s upcoming TV movie “The Kicks”. At just 11 years old, he often felt concerned about other kids’ potential lack of food, housing and education – and he decided to step up to do something about it. On behalf of National Volunteer Week, a program that encourages people to engage with their communities, Eggerling joined HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarresssy Tehrani to discuss the story behind his motivation to help other young people to learn to read through volunteering.
Eggerling visited various schools around southern California and started to read to kids. One time, he met a girl who told him that she didn’t have any books. “That really started me trying to give books to all the kids that I could find…I was really sad…I thought that everyone had books, that everyone could read. It was really shocking to me.” Gabe decided to do something about it and started his organization “Mission: HERO” (Helping Everyone Read Out Loud).
Tracy Hoover, chief executive of Points of Light, thinks it’s inspiring to watch young people like Eggerling step up for causes they’re passionate about. It encourages adults to spend their time in similar ways.
“I think what you see with the young celebrities and the community action heroes is that each of us, whether you’re younger or older, have things that you really care about…and a unique sphere of influence and assets that you can apply to those causes, and that’s the sweet spot,” says Hoover.
Today, Gabe hosts events, reads to schools, and donates thousands of new books to disadvantaged kids. It’s great to see young people recognizing a problem and doing something about it. To learn more about Gabe Eggerling and his volunteering, click here.