Celebrating Black History Month and Everyday Heroes

Observed every February, Black History Month is a time to honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans across U.S. history and society. In addition to remembering the activists and civil rights pioneers who bravely fought for equality, we also appreciate the opportunity to recognize  leaders and organizations that work tirelessly to help our local communities.

One such leader is Blue Trust client Kenny Hill. Kenny and his wife Clarisa created The Launch Pad Foundation in 2014 with the mission of removing people from homelessness and disenfranchisement and placing them in sustainable housing. While receiving housing assistance, recipients are given the chance to acquire the life skills and career training needed to become self-sufficient and lift themselves out of difficult circumstances.

Kenny knows firsthand what it’s like to experience disadvantages. The eldest of seven children, he was raised by a single mother. As a child, he had to work hard to help his mom and support the family. One particular memory from his childhood inspires his work today. “When I was in third grade, the PTA sponsored a potluck at my school for which you needed to buy a ticket. I simply didn’t have any money for a ticket because we were very poor,” he remembers. “All I could do was press my face against the window and look at all the great food and tables of cakes inside. A man who was outside cooking meats on the grill saw me standing there, unable to go in. He reached into his pocket and gave me a ticket. I’ll never forget that he gave me the opportunity to go in and partake of the good food, just like everyone else.”

Kenny worked at The Home Depot to pay his way through college and received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, San Diego. After 30 years of service, Kenny retired from The Home Depot before founding The Launch Pad Foundation. Today, he is grateful to give back through a financial plan that includes generosity with the guidance of his Blue Trust advisor.

“I try to give my daughters the things that were missing when I was growing up, like strong fatherly love and guidance, and an intact and strong marriage. Clarisa and I also share with them what we’re doing in the community so that we can model that intentionality for them,” Kenny says. “After I retired from The Home Depot, God put a burden on my heart to do something different. My wife and I understand that the legacy we leave is not just with our children; it’s also the lives we’re able to touch with what God places in our hands.”

Kenny believed for many years that growing up in poverty was a liability he had to overcome. Today, he sees how God has used every detail of his life as part of His plan to build something greater. “Remembering that experience I had at the potluck when the man handed me a ticket, I’m presented with opportunities today to do the same thing in some way for someone else…to give them that opportunity to participate and be included, which is a tremendous feeling.”

If you are interested in learning more about Kenny’s life, ministry and financial journey, please view the interview below where we sit down with him.



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