At his father’s urging, 10-year-old Genshu Price began recycling bottles and cans to save money for his education. But his scheme soon grew grander: He’s helping other students achieve their college dreams too.
Now 13 years old, Price has spent the last few years picking up bottles and cans and hauling them to recycling centers on the Hawaii island of Oahu. He launched Bottles4College three years ago. In that time, Price has collected more than 100,000 containers.
But he’s not finished yet. His goal is to recycle two to four million cans and bottles every year. The determined young man hopes his proceeds will fund college tuition for up to two students.
Thinking of others is a good trait to cultivate. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests,” the Bible says, “but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
“[Collecting that many containers] would be able to help a lot more local families,” Price says. His actions show that he is not only a hard worker but also a selfless servant-leader.
The teen knows the value of his project: Recycling helps preserve the planet, keeps his island clean, gives people a sense of community, and promotes education.
Bottles4College “gained traction” during the coronavirus pandemic. “People saw this as a way to give an opportunity back to local families, especially since the pandemic has hit everyone so hard, especially the kids,” he says.
Genshu’s mother, Maria Price, recalls how her son began visiting beaches, Little League baseball games, and parks, “just asking people if they’re done with their drinks.” He collected their empties and sorted them with his parents’ help. She says he’s learning a lot.
Price already receives support from businesses and schools. Mililani Uka Elementary School, the Kualoa Ranch nature reserve, and S.W. King Intermediate School have allowed Price to set up drop-off depots. But he hopes to expand to every school on the island.
“Hawaii already has very high living costs,” Price says. “I want to give a way for students who may not . . . have been able to go to college by themselves.”
The rising eighth grader is also an aspiring filmmaker. He created a documentary highlighting his work. He makes videos with tips on sorting cans and bottles and encouraging others to recycle.
“We still have a little bit to go to get to the place where we want to be. But it’s definitely exciting,” he says. “Every can counts.”