Barry Goldwater’s Kilan White uses experiences for philanthropic purpose
Many high schoolers struggle to balance a varsity sport or extra curricular activity with one semester remaining of classes, but 18-year-old Kilan White is not like most young men.
White was named to the Barry Goldwater High School varsity baseball team as a freshman, where he saw an opportunity to be a leader to others on his team who didn’t know the game as well.
He noticed a teammate who was not showing up to practice, and it often irritated other members of the team. At the conclusion of the season, the teammate was able to share his story of being a foster care child and how he struggled with his at-home life.
Hearing his story drove White to help others in similar situations.
“It was really sad but moving to me,” White said. “My dad helped me search for an organization that was like that. I was like, I want to do something about this, where do I start?”
The then-freshman met with one of the head lawyers at Generation Justice, a non-profit helping abandoned kids find homes, and has been involved ever since. He creates data charts for lawyers, has made over 500 hygiene kits for the kids to be distributed nationally and also raised more than $4,000 for the cause.
White has had a philanthropic calling to lead since he was 10-years-old. He’s gone to Mexico with his church to help build houses for the less fortunate through an organization called One Mission.
“I really enjoy my connections,” White said. “You meet different types of people in the different activities you do. Everybody thinks different and it is good to understand everyone’s perspectives in those activities.
“It was founded back when there was a really bad economic crisis in Mexico and even more people had nothing,” White said. “It is really rewarding to see them get their house that they worked so hard for, like harder than any of us worked. They get this small house and they are so grateful for it.”
The young man also lent his time to Audubon Arizona, an organization aiding birds and other wildlife to return to their natural habitat, helping clean and restore houses for birds of prey.
White’s willingness to lead others helped him receive the “Love” Character Demonstration Award and student of the month from his high school.
Although he has given much of his time to others, the 18-year-old said his passion to help people pushes him to try and reach new goals.
“I am not afraid to fail,” White said.
“In the end, I do not regret any of it. It has all taught me a lesson and I’m so grateful for learning that so early in my life. When you fail it is a lesson, not something to be disappointed about.”
White is ranked atop his senior class with a 4.0 GPA. The varsity baseball player, trumpet player, member of the marching band and golfer is pursuing an International Baccalaureate degree and was named a National Merit Commended Scholar.
White said he wants to go to college and become a lawyer. He is looking at the in-state Arizona schools, but his dream is to attend the University of Chicago.