Toluca Lake native, Cady Stark, 15, is set to head to the United Nations Headquarters on Wednesday and Thursday to be honored by the International Year of Youth Culmination Celebration. She has worked hard forming a local charity and doing it as a tribute to her late mother.
"She was always so very supportive of me," Stark told Patch. "This is as much a tribute to her as it is for me."
The local teen won the ALLY (Allykatzz Leads Linking Youth) Award which is scheduled to be presented by actress Monique Coleman from the High School Musical movies.
"I love High School Musical, so that will be a big honor," Stark told Patch. "I have been very lucky."
Stark headed to New York this week with her family to be part of the delegation of 14 girls at the ECOSOC Chamber in Manhattan, where she will answer questions to the press aboout what she wants to do in the future.
She was one of 14 girls selected from across the country and she was sponsored by Playmate Toys’s newest doll line: “Hearts 4 Hearts Girls” for her work with the Kling Street Kids, which she helped co-found.
The King Street Kids are a group of local children who help raise money for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. In nine years, they raised $76,864.82.
"We hope that next year since it will be the 10th year, we will expand what we make and bring in $100,000 to give to charity," Stark said. "I want to be able to expand what we do to all parts of the world and help others start non-profit groups like ours."
The Kling Street grassroots organization was inspired by Cady’s mother Michelle Nicastro, who died Nov. last year after a decade-long battle with cancer. The Broadway actress and singer suggested that Cady and her sister, Callie, create a foundation for children less fortunate than them.
The award honors young women who have played leadership roles in their communities and who are committed to working toward positive social change.
The delegates will answer questions and share stories about their accomplishments at the United Nations.
The local girls, who attend Mayfield Senior School of the Holy Child Jesus in Pasadena, started their charity by selling hot chocolate and donuts to neighbors, and now more than 60 children between the ages of 5 and 17 are helping out.
(See the YouTube videos documenting their successes.)