Konstantine Buhler believes that youth must lead the charge in disaster preparedness. In 2004, he founded Always Ready Kids (ARK), a youth-run organization that helps young people and their families prepare for disasters, and which provides aid for disaster relief. Over 15,000 young people have participated in projects that Konstantine has led for ARK from coast-to-coast in the U.S., and abroad. Additionally, ARK has raised $25,000 for disaster relief. ARK projects have positively impacted youth in four continents. Konstantine believes that just as youth successfully urge their parents to buckle up or recycle, young people can also lead their families to take appropriate measures to prepare for disasters.
Konstantine is widely recognized as a leading youth social entrepreneur. He serves as an Ambassador of Youth Venture, has led the Nestle Very Best In Youth Board as its president, was the youngest participant in the World Bank’s first Youth Open House, and represented Youth Service America at the Disney/Miley celebration of youth volunteerism. In 2010 he received the $25,000 National Axa Achievement Scholarship for his studies at Stanford University.
In 2007, Konstantine was named one of the nation’s top youth leaders and received the Nestle Very Best in Youth Award. In 2009, he received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for his achievements in community service. Additionally, for four consecutive years Konstantine has earned the highest level of recognition from the President’s Volunteer Service. In 2008, he was the youngest person to lead youth in a summer project in Colorado sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the government of Cyprus, called BOLD Leaders. In 2007, he became the youngest person in Illinois to complete the adult Community Emergency Response Teams training. He has received many other awards and recognition.
Konstantine is an activist for disaster preparedness and social entrepreneurship. As a featured speaker at summits and conferences, he shares his experiences with youth from throughout the world, and encourages them to take action.