Congratulations to Parker Miles '23, who was selected as the 2022 Teen Volunteer of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He was recognized at National Philanthropy Day, hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professional's Greater Atlanta chapter on Thursday, Nov. 3.
Parker launched "Wheeling with the Bears," a HIES club that raises funds and awareness and helps provide inclusive opportunities for all athletes. He was inspired after meeting Brent and Kyle Pease, founders of the Kyle Pease Foundation, which seeks to improve the lives of people with disabilities through sports. Brent and Kyle have visited HIES on several occasions to talk about their work through the Foundation.
"They asked me to push some teenagers in an upcoming race as many of their wheelchair athletes are also teenagers and love being pushed by other teenagers," Parker said. "After pushing wheelchairs in a few races with the KPF, I loved it and I decided to create Wheeling with the Bears. The cross-country team all got involved and the club expanded with lots of other leaders, including Ryan Kelley '23 joining races and raising funds."
In September 2021, the club purchased a wheelchair to be used in races. Parker served as a volunteer intern at KPF in summer 2022 working on fund-raising and logistics.