In 2017, The Ryan Shaw Memorial 5K raised over $47,000 in charitable donations, sponsorships, and registration fees for Mustard Seed Communities, an international nonprofit organization in which Ryan was actively involved in during his life. The following year, The Ryan Shaw Memorial 5K raised over $80,000 for the Ryan Shaw Foundation, a nonprofit foundation established by the Shaw Family to give back to the communities and organizations that had an impact in Ryan's life.
For 2019, all proceeds from The Ryan Shaw Memorial 5K will support the Ryan Shaw Foundation, which will benefit in full the following three organizations: (1) Mustard Seed Communities, (2) The Haven Project, and (3) the Ryan Shaw '15 Entrepreneurial Education Program at St. John's Prep.
"With the proceeds from last year's race, MSC was able to purchase a 15-seater van to transport residents at Blessed Assurance, where Ryan served as a mission volunteer with St. John’s Prep. We were in urgent need of replacing the previous van, which was in poor condition due to age as well as wear and tear. The new van has a tremendous impact, allowing us to take groups of residents to medical appointments, to church, and on outings. Trips to places like the beach and library are beneficial both to the residents and the surrounding community, breaking down stigmas that can exist regarding people with disabilities. Additional funds received from the race were used for the care of the residents at Blessed Assurance." - Mustard Seed Communities, March 2018
Mustard Seed Communities
Mustard Seed Communities Inc. (MSC) is an international nonprofit organization that is dedicated to caring for the most vulnerable populations throughout the developing world. MSC began in 1978 as a home for a handful of children with disabilities who had been abandoned to the streets of Jamaica.
Today, MSC provides loving and lifelong care to over 500 children and adults with disabilities, children affected by HIV/AIDS, and young mothers in crisis across Jamaica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Zimbabwe. MSC manages sustainable agriculture initiatives and provides education, nutrition, and skills training programs in order to improve the economic, social, and spiritual conditions within marginalized communities.
Ryan developed a passion for Mustard Seed Communities’ work while attending a high school service trip with MSC to Montego Bay, Jamaica, during which he aided in residential service projects and provided educational support. Ryan established a close connection with many of the children he worked with, especially through creative drawing, one of Ryan’s distinguished talents.
For additional information on MSC, please visit their website.
The Haven Project
The Haven Project was established in late 2011 to provide services for homeless young adults in the surrounding areas north of Boston. The Haven Project's mission is to equip and empower homeless young adults between the ages of 17-24 with the skills and support they need to reach their potential. Based out of Lynn, MA, The Haven Project operates a drop-in center that offers underprivileged young adults social coaching, life skills classes, and growth opportunities in employment, education, housing, and the community.
In 2017, The Haven Project served over 180 homeless young adults. Additionally, the organization recently began a transitional housing program, and opened a social enterprise called Land of a Thousand Hills, a coffee cafe to provide a venue for job training and operating funds for the organization's educational programs.
The Haven Project has remained a preferred charitable organization of the Shaw Family for its work with young adults close in age to Ryan, and its ultimate mission of aiding underprivileged youths in the community, a passion of Ryan's as seen through his work with Mustard Seed Communities.
For additional information on The Haven Project, please visit their website.
The Ryan Shaw '15 Entrepreneurial Program
During his time in high school at St. John's Prep in Danvers, MA, Ryan joined the Entrepreneurial Education Program, where student teams participate in a 12-week intensive program to brainstorm a concept, build a business plan, and compete against other entrepreneurs for real funding to begin executing their vision.
Ryan, along with close friends Mitchell Trulli and Marcus Pelletier, created EquityOwl. The idea created an online platform as a way to bring entrepreneurs together with programmers, designers, and other professionals in mutually beneficial partnerships. Their team won the opportunity to compete at the Babson Boston Cup, and although they did not take first place, they showed resilience by carrying on with their business into college and continuing to grow the business today.
Ryan, according to his co-founders, was the brainpower behind EquityOwl and the driver of their early success. In 2017, the Entrepreneurial Education Program was renamed in Ryan's honor for his distinguished contributions to the program and incredible passion towards early stage companies.
Proceeds that are contributed to the Ryan Shaw '15 Entrepreneurial Program will help further the resources and opportunities available to the program, so that students like Ryan will be able to pursue their passions for education and entrepreneurship as he did.