19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

NY employee is helping others, one pair of sneakers at a time

When your passion is to change the world, there’s not much time for sleep. That’s why Fredo Figueroa starts his days at 5 a.m.

Fredo not only works 30 hours a week at Best Buy in Hartsdale, New York, but he’s also a full-time college student studying information technology and a basketball coach for his former high school and for a youth sports organization. He also runs a business called Sneaker Reign.

He and his business partner buy premium sneakers and resell them for a profit.

“I wanted to utilize Sneaker Reign as a platform to give back to my community,” Fredo said. “Some call it the projects. I call it home.”

In August, the day after Fredo turned 18, he attended a summer camp for kids from underserved areas and donated more than 100 pairs of lightly used shoes that he collected and cleaned. The event was so successful that he and his partner are now hosting a coat drive to keep children warm during the cold New York winter.

“I see kids walking around in jackets that are the wrong size, covered in holes and with busted zippers,” Fredo said. “We’ve collected well over 100 new or gently used coats and hope to place them in the hands of people who really need them.”

Michael Jordan is the store’s general manager and says Fredo is one of his top employees.

“He is a pure joy to be around,” Michael said. “It’s amazing to see someone with so much drive to help others.”

While actions often speak louder than words, words can be powerful, too. Especially when they’re in ink.

“I have a tattoo on my back that says, ‘We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves,’” Fredo said. “I used to be very angry, but once I found my purpose, I found peace. I know I’m only 18 years old, but those kids are the future, and that’s something worth supporting.”