Ten-year-old Keith Boyd, CEO of Keiths Ice Cold Lemonade Stand, is teaming up with entrepreneurship education resource Thrive15 and several local businesses to make lemonade out of lemons. Boyd, who was born with nonverbal cerebral palsy and is unable to use his arms, legs or mouth, set out to raise $250,000 for The Little Light House, a Tulsa-based development center for children with special needs. The Little Light House gifted him with the technology that allows him to now verbally communicate. The Tobii EyeMobile is a tool that allows Boyd to communicate by using his eyes to type what he wants to say on a screen, which is then verbalized by the tool. In response to this gift, Boyd crafted a business plan to set up lemonade stands around Tulsa for the summer, the proceeds of which would benefit The Little Light House.
“My goal is to raise money for The Little Light House where I went to school until I was six. They have done so much for me; I want to give back so other kids can go to that school without paying any money,” said Keith Boyd.
Recognizing Boyds entrepreneurial spirit, local franchised Chick-fil-A Operator and Thrive15 mentor Arthur Greeno reached out to Keiths parents to ask how he could make the lemonade stands become a reality. Greeno enlisted the help of other Thrive15 mentors, who helped create a website for the lemonade stands and to secure local sponsors and media partners for the initiative. Additionally, Greeno secured donations of lemons and tea for the stands.
I knew I had to meet Keith when I heard his story, said Greeno. I was so inspired when he shared his business plan with me that he had written with his eyes. Many people dream big, but to take action is very admirable.