Rylea Fields: Caring for the Community

Courtesy Photo. Rylea Fields, 9, poses for a cheer picture. Fields started a nonprofit organization named 'Ryleas Ribbons.'


Courtesy Photo. Rylea Fields, 9, poses for a cheer picture. Fields started a nonprofit organization named ‘Ryleas Ribbons.’

Freshman Rylea Fields walks into a homeless shelter sees dozens of children lined up as they wait to get hair ribbons. Their faces light up as Fields lets them choose their own ribbons.

“The first time I gave ribbons to a shelter was amazing,” Fields said. “It made me feel good [inside] that I was brightening someone’s day.”

Rylea’s Ribbons started after Fields heard her classmate’s story of experiencing homelessness. Fields donate hair ribbons to non-profit organizations and shelters such as St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

“The thing that impacted me the most about her situation was that [her classmate] had to leave with only the clothes on her back,” Fields said. “I knew something had to be done.”

Fields operated Rylea’s Ribbons since second grade and donated thousands of hair ribbons since. However, these donations have not gone unnoticed. Since the commencement of Rylea’s Ribbons, Fields received numerous awards ranging from 3 different US presidents all the way to local awards.

“It makes me feel good that people recognize how much I do for the community,” Fields said. “Though it feels good, I do not do it for the awards or recognition.”

On Feb. 1, Fields received a letter from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards congratulating her on being a distinguished finalist for the award. She was one of the 234 distinguished finalists in the nation. The letter was written on behalf of President Donald J. Trump. This marked her fourth presidential community service award.

“The presidential awards make me feel thankful and blessed that the president recognizes what I do,” Fields said. “It’s amazing that there are [also] so many other people helping in their communities.”

Rylea contributes her serving-nature to her parents and the way she was raised. Her mother and counselor, Lisa Fields, noticed her “heart for service” from when she first began to walk and talk.

My husband and I were raised by parents who taught us to serve,” Ms. Fields said. “We have raised Rylea the same. She knows that our life on Earth is temporary and while we are here, we serve and model for others what Christ modeled for us.”

Rylea said she would like to continue her service for as long as she can. She wants her organization to grow and prosper in order to help more individuals and other non-profit organizations. Even with limited time towards her project, Fields strives to provide quality hair ribbons to children in need of them.

“I plan to grow [Rylea’s Ribbons] even more than it already has,” Fields said. “To grow, I will talk to people about my organization and spread my message.”