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Renoa Richelle King on Finding Her Voice and Purpose as She Grows into Adulthood

At the young age of 19, Renoa Richelle King has put years of hard work and persistence into Set Forth Philippines, an organization she founded to help provide access to education for the youth of the country. This is a journey she has paved for herself as she walks through the growing pains and triumphs of becoming a full fledged adult.

What are you taking up in school right now and what are the things that make you feel most alive?

I am a freshman at the University of Southern California studying Business Administration with an emphasis in Real Estate Finance. As an extrovert, I feel most alive when I do activities alongside people and foster connections between them. That said, I love taking part in different community engagement activities, joining clubs I'm interested in, exploring new places with my friends, and going on nature walks.

How old are you?

I am 19 years old.

I am most known for ________

I am most known for being an older sister to four younger brothers. However, to people outside my family, I am most known for being the founder of Set Forth Philippines– an educational initiative that aims to provide educational opportunities to grassroots Filipino children.

I am most proud of ________

I am most proud of not letting struggles, that I did not think I would get past, define me or get in the way of my happiness.

What do you think is the biggest challenge, and the best thing, about being your age?

The biggest challenge about being my age would have to be finding my own voice, pacing, and purpose. I tend to get caught up in what other people are doing, comparing my achievements with theirs. I feel the need to constantly keep up even if they don't necessarily align with my interest. However, I try to remind myself that everyone’s journey is unique, and it's not a competition. At the end of the day, I am exactly where I am meant to be, doing the things that are shaping me into the person I am becoming.

How have you grown wiser in the past two years?

Two years ago, I was a seventeen year old about to transition into adulthood. Since then, so much has changed in my life– maybe even more than all my previous years combined. That change was one that was equally exciting as it was scary, but, in the process, I have learned so much about myself, my values, and the world around me.

What are the best pieces of life advice you have ever received?

Greet people you meet, even if it is just in passing. It is an advice my mom told me when I was still little, but one I still take to heart. I found that practicing a simple “good morning” with a smile goes a long way in making the world a friendlier place.

Who are the women you look up to and how have they helped shape your life?

I admire my mom as my mentor, bestfriend, and the most honest critic in my life. She puts me in my place when I’ve made a mistake, yet teaches me what’s right with a tender heart. She supports me in everything I do, yet reminds me to take breaks when I need them. She works hard to afford me resources to learn and grow, yet instills in me the value of discipline and grit to work for my own achievements. My mom has and continues to shape my heart and my mind– something I will always be grateful for.

What makes you excited about the future?

I am excited to see what new ventures I can try out next. There is just so much I want to try and experience from joining new clubs, starting new ventures, studying a completely different topic, learning a new skill, and meeting new people. I feel like the possibilities are endless and that the future holds countless opportunities for growth, learning, and personal development.

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