During her junior year at Tower Hill, Gracie Firestone '11 started Let the Kids Play (LTKP) to provide underprivileged youth with new to lightly-used athletic equipment. With the community's help, over $5,000 was raised and equipment and funding were donated to Nativity Preparatory School in Wilmington, DE, and Flying Kites Global, an orphanage outside of Nairobi, Kenya.
After Gracie collapsed two days post-graduation in 2011, many were anxious to learn what she'd be capable of doing. In early August, family and friends told her that going to college at the end of the month was perhaps ill-advised, doctors said that playing soccer was out of the question and LTKP had been placed last on the list of things to think about. Three weeks later, she went to college, stayed in the honors program, played soccer and LTKP was constantly in her thoughts.
This winter, Gracie wants to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for children of the Flying Kites orphanage and volunteer as an ambassador for her non-profit association. To do so, she is raising $8,000. The trip has been her dream for years and will enable her to test her physical limits, expand LTKP and its prospects, and understand the medical care in Kenya and nearby countries. As a pre-med major, she hopes to analyze areas that most urgently need to be addressed to improve and save lives. It's because of access to top medical care that she is alive today.