By Michael Joseph Green

The average kid has the clout and creativity to change the world, more than ever before. With their cell phones in hand, Internet at their fingertips, and access to instant data, today’s youth process information faster than ever. They increasingly understand information more clearly than their predecessors and at an earlier age. Our youth see the world from a completely different angle, opening a whole new world of opportunity for solutions to world issues like energy, pollution and water conservation.

My name is Michael Joseph Green and I’m just an average high school kid.

No, really—My hair is too long, my super-human sarcasm is highly underrated, and I like numbers. I’m not super social, I wasn’t Prom King, and don’t plan to run for student council. But with a little help, I was able to create a recycling program that generates college money for kids and gets plastic bottles off our streets.

It began very simple. I believed in education reform and environmental preservation. But that wasn’t what set me apart; I realized there was absolutely no reason why I couldn’t get involved, RIGHT NOW.

I am 17 years old and the founder of College Ready Recycling.

College Ready Recycling is a program created by kids, for kids. A program that seeks to create opportunities where there are none. We stand for the children who have the potential to academically excel and yet fall short due to lack of resources that are outside of their reach. By enrolling, children are able to recycle their way to college savings. With college tuitions rising and public funding proving insufficient, it was time for a creative solution.

Money is an unavoidable variable of life and the majority of the world quite literally can’t afford their essential needs. The transparency of money regarding the future of our youths is of the utmost importance.

Funds for College Ready Recycling are fueled by donations/contributions from various considerate organizations, institutions, and people like you. These funds are deposited into a verifiable 501(c)3 non-profit account, sponsored by The Miami Foundation. From the tax-exempt account, these funds are deposited directly into each participating child’s Trust Egg account.

With a quick click, you can see that Trust Egg is a progressive and well-executed hybrid trust account. Trust Egg accounts can be opened with just one dollar and can be deposited into at any time. Trust Egg is also social media friendly, allowing family and friends to share and contribute to the trust online. The account is secure and the child will have access to it once they turn 18 years of age.

While participating in the program, children must maintain a 3.0 GPA and are responsible for the sanitation and drop off of their bottles.