Shining World Leadership Awards
The Boy Who Started
By Illinois News Group, USA (Originally in English)
About two years ago, one person’s environmental movement—an aluminum recycling program—began in Toluca, Illinois. That person was 11-year-old Tayler McGillis. Every day, Tayler would walk city streets and rural roads picking up discarded cans, and early on many Sunday mornings, he retrieved cans that littered a local golf course. He later organized his efforts by setting up bins in business areas where the cans could be collected. Earlier this year, with the help of family, friends and the community, he gathered more than 16,277 pounds of aluminum cans. The material, valued at over $9,000, was later used to pay for every door and window of a new Habitat for Humanity house in Marshall County.
Tayler’s work did not go unnoticed. In 2006, he was awarded the Governor’s Green Youth Award by Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich. In April this year, he was selected the 2007 regional winner of the President’s Environmental Youth Award and was called the “Tin Can Scout” by his local media.
On September 29, Golden Year 4 (2007), initiates from the Illinois Center presented Tayler McGillis the Shining World Leadership Award on behalf of Supreme Master Ching Hai at the 13th Annual Harvest Pow-Wow, a Native American event that took place in Naperville, Illinois. At that time, Tayler’s total collection weighed in at 22,000 pounds.
The Award was arranged as a surprise by Tayler’s mother in conjunction with the Pow-Wow, where one of the coordinators organized a Native American dance in Tayler’s honor. Dressed in his Boy Scout uniform with all the badges he has earned, Tayler was a little shy and somewhat nervous about receiving the Award. However, when the letter from Master was read, he was visibly touched, as was the audience who cheered him. In addition to the Award, the Association presented him with a financial gift of $2,000, a tent, sleeping bag, sweets and Master’s publications. The response from Tayler’s family as well as others was very touching, with many asking about Master. The event was also very colorful; participants wore Native American cultural attire and everyone, including initiates, was invited to participate in the dancing.
Tayler said that he began this venture in order to earn a Boy Scout badge. However, in the process of collecting the cans, he became aware of the environment and was inspired to continue the work. His efforts, according to his mother, sparked the community’s interest to join him. We wish Tayler much success in his continued endeavors, which not only help our planet and other people but also raise awareness about the benefits of working together to save the Earth’s environment.
To view the Tayler McGillis award presentation aired
by Supreme Master Television, please visit the following link: