Riley Unlikely Shares the Journey of a Remarkable Teenager
Finding a Love for Kenyan Children and a Mission to Build a School
Grand Rapids, Mich., June 2016 — At the age of 13, Riley Banks-Snyder traveled to Kenya where she sat in a classroom full of first and second graders sharing a single pencil. The presents Riley was so excited to give the kids paled in importance to the school supplies that were easily accessible back home in Branson, MO. Riley realized these kids didn’t need matchbox cars or jump ropes. They needed pencils and paper.
As soon as her plane touched down in America, Riley knew she wanted to go back. At the age of 14, Riley started a non-profit, Generation Next, to help collect school supplies for Kenyan schools and returned the following year with 200 backpacks filled with donated supplies.
“I had no idea that God was going to use what happened at that school, with those kids, to begin weaving Africa into the fabric of my story,” says Riley. “God put a love for Kenyan children in my heart and gave me an impulse to want to help them.”
In Riley Unlikely: With Simple Child-Like Faith, Amazing Things Can Happen, Riley brings readers on her journeys to Kenya and the unexpected hardships and disappointments that showed Riley how to truly trust in God. From the first smells when her plane touches down to God planting the idea of opening a school in Kibwezi, Kenya, Riley shows the immense impact one life can have and encourages readers to find their own passions. Not everyone will be called to Kenya to build schools and community centers, but everyone can do something to make a profound difference.
From the very beginning, Riley had a vision that ordinary people can have extra ordinary impact, one life at a time. That dream carried her through several big twists and turns, but she always saw the beauty of God working in mysterious ways.
Riley’s focus turned to helping Kenyan orphans after she was diagnosed at 16 with a rare condition that left her unable to have biological children. She saw that even though she was not
able to have her own children, God had put hundreds of Kenyan children in her life to love and take care of.
Today, Riley is 19, and works full-time for her ministry and can be found at Riley’s Treasures, Generation Next’s thrift store and food pantry in Branson, when she is not in Kenya. Generation Next opened a school in Kibwezi, Kenya and in January bought a 7000 square foot building with five acres to use for a community center. They will teach women to sew, provide a feeding program, a safe house for kids and a sports complex for the kids to play on as well as farming. She and her new husband Graham plan to live part time in Kenya when Graham is finished with college. They will make their home at the community center, to oversee the day to day operations.
Riley Banks is the founder and executive director of Generation Next, a non-profit she established at the age of 14. Generation Next has built and oversees a school in Kibwezi, Kenya, and runs a thrift shop and food pantry in Branson, Missouri, to fund operations. Riley’s heart is for Africa and for reminding every young person that they can do more to change the world than they could ever imagine. She lives in Branson, MO with her husband Graham.
For more information visit: www.generationnextcares.org
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