Youth Spotlight: Hope and the Williams brothers is what the world needs

By Gloria Cueva
Eagle River Youth Coalition

Hope. It’s what keeps us striving in a world filled with opportunities for some, not so much for many. Karsen Williams, a junior at Battle Mountain High School, and his brother Kaden, a freshman, are the embodiment of future leaders who will give people a reason to continue to dream.

Both Karsen and Kaden participate in Children’s Global Alliance, a nonprofit that takes youth to volunteer on service trips to developing countries so they can create solutions one day. Youth travel to Cambodia, Nepal, Morocco, Tanzania and Nigeria.

The brothers have witnessed extreme poverty and suffering on their service trips; this is the third time Karsen has been selected and the second for Kaden. They will be teaching English to children with a goal of promoting global readiness.

“It’s amazing to experience other cultures and learn about other people. I love giving others opportunities because so many do not have the opportunities we have in this country,” Karsen said.

The boys have to raise their own funds to go on these trips, but according to Kad,n it’s worth it.

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“It’s fun and it feels good to give back. It makes me feel better that I’m helping people,” he said.

In addition to being an inspiration to others to give of their time to improve the world, Karsen and Kaden have instituted some practices in their lives that help them stay calm. They go to bed early and always try to get plenty of sleep. This they do despite school schedules, volunteering, and extracurricular activities.

Kaden volunteers for Small Champions, Communities that Care, plays tuba in the school band, runs on the cross-country team, and plays basketball and baseball. Karsen volunteers for Small Champions, Communities that Care, and plays soccer and basketball.

How do they manage to catch enough Zs? They give credit to their parents, Todd and Carrie Williams, who they say set them up for success. Unlike other teens who stay on social media until wee hours of the morning, they are not allowed to do that and they can’t stay out late during school nights.

Their parents help them structure their time, too. “Our parents are very supportive of what we are involved in and they get on us when needed. That shows they care about us and we’ll be thankful for this 10 years from now,” Karsen said.

There are changes they would like to see in the local community and the world. Locally, they feel the community needs to improve awareness and better publicize resources for youth and families to access help when they are depressed and have other needs. On a world scale, Karsen says the U.S. needs to do more for the environment and take global warming seriously.

Kaden wishes that social and economic classes would be eliminated. “We need to see each other just as human beings on the planet,” he said.

Hope. It exists because of youth like the Williams brothers.

Gloria Cueva is the collaborative management program coordinator for the Eagle River Youth Coalition.

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