Kerry Koranteng of The Kerry K Foundation: “I will say being kind can inspire another person to do the same”

I will say being kind can inspire another person to do the same. Kindness is never wasted, if you’re kind, you’ll receive back in a different way. And as mom always says, in this world, we’re like the puzzle piece, each of us is needed to complete the puzzle so we have to look out […]

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I will say being kind can inspire another person to do the same. Kindness is never wasted, if you’re kind, you’ll receive back in a different way. And as mom always says, in this world, we’re like the puzzle piece, each of us is needed to complete the puzzle so we have to look out for one another.


As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kerry Koranteng, president of The Kerry K Foundation.

Kerry Koranteng is an 11-year-old with a heart of gold. Service is her passion and after a trip to Ghana and seeing how the children were exploited, she decided to start The Kerry K Foundation to help raise awareness about child labor and provide shoes for the children in need. To date, Kerry has helped raised nearly 1,000 pairs of shoes.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit how you grew up?

I was born in Chicago, and raised by two Ghanaian parents. I’ve always been a busy girl. I was the only child for a while so I was enrolled in a lot of activities so I can connect with other kids. My favorite was ballet and still is. I’ve been dancing at Joffrey academy since age 4. My family have been packing up food and clothes for people in need as much as I can remember. So, I’ve always known we’re in this world for one another.

Is there a particular book or organization that made a significant impact on you growing up? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Big Al by Andrew Clement, from this book, I learned that we have to be kind and help someone feel belonged. This motivates me to be kind and look out for others.

How do you define “Making A Difference”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

I believe one can make a difference if she asks the question; “what are you doing for others?” and finds an answer to the question.

Ok super. Let’s now jump to the main part of our interview. You are currently leading an organization that aims to make a social impact. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?

The Kerry K Foundation is with the mission to shine more light on child labor and how we all can help make life better for these children who are being exploited.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

When I visited Ghana, there were so many children selling on the street and poorly dressed. Most of them were walking barefoot. I felt very sad about the fact that they walk daily without shoes trying to raise money to support their families. I feel the world need to know child labor is actively going on, especially in poorly developed countries so that these poor children could be helped.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?

I visited my grand-auntie in the rural part of Ghana and over there, almost 90% of the children were walking with no shoes and in very dirty clothes. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I felt sad because I couldn’t imagine walking barefoot the entire day, every single day. At that point, I knew I had to do something to help.

Many young people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?

I will say being brave and focused. I was determined to help the kids so I just went straight at it. The beginning was tough but I kept spreading my message and it was eventually heard. Never give up.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

When adults also came asking me for shoes. I wish I could provide shoes to everyone who needs them, but kids are my priority because I feel adult can find a way to survive but not us children.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?

I passed shoes out without letting the kids try them and they have to be brought back because they didn’t fit. Now every donation we do, we make sure kids try the shoes before taking them.

None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?

I will say I’m blessed with a great support system. mom and dad are very involved and supportive. My uncles Collins and Francis, Nana, and Donald, and my aunties Ruth and Vida have been such awesome cheerleaders. They donate money, and help with transporting the shoes.

I’m also thankful for my friend Jahkil, founder of Project I Am and Lady Dawn from Milhouse Charities. They have been my biggest sponsors so far.

Without saying specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

There was a kid selling candy bars at the subway station when I was going to dance class. He looked tired and pale, so I told mom to give me money from my lip care business to buy his candies so he can have some rest. I remember how happy he was.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Most of the children in need are in area with very poor educational systems. So, I will say, first, government should work towards quality education for all. Secondly, there should be strict rules and regulations to prevent child labor and, finally; there should be decent jobs for working adults and youth of age.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of the interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why?

I don’t really have five. I have just one. I wish I knew earlier that shipping to Ghana is very costly. Now I’m working on getting some airlines on board who can help me cut cost on shipping.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

I will say being kind can inspire another person to do the same. Kindness is never wasted, if you’re kind, you’ll receive back in a different way. And as mom always says, in this world, we’re like the puzzle piece, each of us is needed to complete the puzzle so we have to look out for one another.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Misty Copeland. I adore her! She started ballet very late, at age 13. She was bullied, especially about her body type but she was unstoppable!

How can our readers follow you online?

Anyone can follow me @kerrykoranteng, @kerrykkosmetics and @kerrykfoundation at both Instagram and Facebook, or check my website at www.kerrykfoundation.com.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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