The following was written by Nathan Simmons, a finalist for the 2019 SuretyBonds.com Small Business Scholarship, to accompany his video submission.
This is the story of how travel and television changed my life. When I was three-years-old, my parents traveled a lot with me and people always asked them how they manage to travel with kids. So, instead of telling the same stories over and over again, they came up with an idea…they would film it, burn it to DVD and sell it online and to libraries. It was a hit and they began to grow the business. They met with a distributor and decided to make a TV show. It afforded my brother and me the opportunity to travel to more than 45 countries and learn about the world. In 2013, my parents expanded their business again to include tour offerings of the destinations featured in the show. This TV show, Travel With Kids, and the tour company has been run out of a two-person office (my parents), with a few freelance employees along the way, since 2003. I have worked alongside my parents not only as one of the hosts of the show but as an assistant in the tours we lead. It has taught me so much about planning, organizing, ups and downs of small business, and most importantly responsibility. Due to the confidence of having an idea and taking ownership of it, my brother and I started our own nonprofit. It started in 2012 when we saw how little they have in the way of school supplies in African schools and how much gets thrown away at home every year as kids clean out their lockers and desks at the end of school. To date, we have collected and distributed over 100,000 items to kids in need. Because of my parents’ small business, I have visited more than 45 countries, realized perspective on what is important in life, and been given the confidence to start a non-profit of my own. It has given me the inspiration and drive to make the world a better place.
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