Jefferson Award Winner: Kenan Mujkanovic

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Kenan Mujkanovic is a high school senior that started his own nonprofit, The Young Visionaries Foundation, when he was only sixteen years old.

When asked about why he decided to start the organization at such a young age he recalled a childhood on the move.

"When I was growing up, we moved from apartment to apartment and not until I was around six or seven years old is when I actually moved into the middle class and helped my dad create our house, literally brick by brick. And considering the fact that my parents had low incomes at the time and we were able to accomplish so much is that we had faith and never gave up, and kept going forward and we always knew what we wanted to accomplish."

As the son of Bosnian immigrants, Kenan recalls a time when he was part of the "people in need" and remembers some of the nonprofits in Bowling Green were there to assist him and his family.

"I feel like someone needs to repay that you know? I founded this organization as a token to the city of Bowling Green and its citizens for assisting my people when they needed it most. "

Karen Foley was Kenan's mentor during the genesis of Young Visionaries and spoke highly about his drive.

"His passion is with the community, and so I think he has been able to identify these different things across the community that he found interesting and wanted to get involved with," said Foley.

When Kenan started his nonprofit he knew he could not accomplish everything he wanted to do alone, so he went to those closest to him first for help. Muamer Razic is one of Kenan's high school friends and when Kenan approached him with his idea, he knew this was something that needed to be done.

"When you listen to his story and why he is doing it and what the Young Visionaries Foundation is, it is very hard not to get behind him," said Razic.

In its first year the Young Visionaries Foundation hosted nine events in Bowling Green with more than two-hundred people from all walks of life volunteering to work with Kenan and the non-profit.

"Every event gets better ten times. We increase it and figure out things we could have done better in each event. We look at past events, what has worked and what hasn't. We weigh it out and go forward from there."

Kenan plans to attend college this fall and has his mind set on expanding The Young Visionaries Foundation along with working towards his degree.

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