Ryan Hickman started his own recycling company since he was 3 and half years old. The 7 year old boy is the president of Ryan’s Recycling Company.
When Ryan was 3.5 years old, he found the purpose of his life after he visited the rePlanet recycling centre based in California.
After the visit, Ryan shares his business idea with his father, Damion. He decided to start a new business of picking up cans and bottles from his neighbourhood.
And this day, at the age of 7, Ryan is the CEO, manager and employee of his venture Ryan’s Recycling Company. The company with 50 customers, collects over 200,000 bottles and cans in recycling credit.
Moreover, even though Ryan is not sure how it started for him, he knows why he will continue with business. The 7-year-old mentions that the wastes go to the ocean making animals sick and die.
Damion Hickman mentions that his son has made over $11,000. The 7 year old is saving the money for his college. However, Ryan himself has different plans.
He wants to buy a garbage truck, an expansion of his existing business. In an interview with CNN, Damion mentions they have saved revenue by the company for Ryan’s education for now. Nevertheless, when Ryan reaches 18 years of age, he gets to decide on his own.
Furthermore, Ryan donates the revenue from his T-shirt proceedings to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. It is one of his favourite places and has donated over $3,700. The given amount goes for medicines and food for the animals.
As the venture is four years now, the neighbours are also enthusiastic. Some of them call for a pickup or even drop the bags off at Hickman’s door.
Besides, in school the favourite activity for Ryan is helping Mr Jose, the janitor, separate the trash.
Ryan’s parents are supportive of their child’s efforts to either continue or stop the business. They mention Ryan enjoys recycling even if they want him to be with friends. However, for the child, recycling is favourite.
Ryan has recruited 5 of his friends helping Mr Jose at school. Damion Hickman is a graphic designer and is an average recycler himself. He mentions that it is 100% Ryan’s efforts, yet Damion is the driver, and they visit recycling centre every three weeks in general.
Furthermore, the father helps his son to separate trash into glass, plastics and aluminium when the amount of garbage is huge.
In spite of the support and appreciation, the Hickman’s avoid direct donations. They do not want the world to think they are doing this for money.
The effort of Ryan is truly commendable. It is indeed never too early to start your venture. It is never too early to drive a change.
The inspiring story of this 7-year-old is asking and encouraging people to recycle more. Ryan himself tells people to keep up with recycling if they are doing so already.
Ryan won the “CNN Young Wonderer 2017” award and also sells merchandise. His company sells T-shirts and hats too!
Nevertheless, regardless of having so many supporters from around the world, there are few criticisms. The prime ones telling Ryan established as a marketing tool. The Hickman’s avoid this though; they say it’s not worth it.
The only thing that matters is that the young man is trying to do something on his own with the support of his parents.
Here are two lessons we get to learn from Ryan. Firstly, the environment needs attention from each one of us and individual efforts. Secondly, it is never too late to drive a positive change. If a kid is determined, we can, and we should be determined too.