FLOSSMOOR, Ill. -- "And it was at that moment that I was like, woah, this isn't just community service. I can really turn this into something."
In 2014, at just 16, Flossmoor native Destiny Watson started the youth-based nonprofit organization known as You Matter 2.
It all started when Destiny wanted to attend WE Day Illinois. This annual event was for youth serving their community, but at the time her high school didn't have a club that would help her to get there, said Tamika Britten, Destiny's mother and You Matter 2's Associate Director.
"So, she decided to start one herself," Britten said.
After starting You Matter 2 and putting in hundreds of service hours, Destiny was invited to a youth community dinner, where she received a full scholarship to any college of her choosing from Magic Johnson.
After graduating with a degree in human rights and now pursuing a masters in nonprofit administration, 23-year-old Destiny is serving her community and building You Matter 2 into a national name.
You Matter 2 holds annual events such as a back to school drive and packing lunches and making blankets for cancer patients and those facing homelessness.
And for the first time last year, You Matter 2 organized the first Homewood-Flossmoor Juneteenth celebration. This large-scale event had live music, activities, brought in more than 100+ black owned vendors and food trucks, and had over 4,000 people registered. Destiny is looking forward to holding that again this summer.
Destiny Watson is committed to serving her community.
"You have something in you that's important," she said. "That's what I try to spread to my youth. You have a purpose and you do matter."
To learn more about You Matter 2, join them or learn more about their upcoming Juneteenth celebration, visit their website at https://www.youmatter2.org/.