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Local Creates “Beacon of Zeal” Nonprofit to Help Filipino Kids

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Woodland Hills resident David Banes has a passion. He founded Beacon of Zeal in 2023, a local nonprofit committed to advocating for individuals with special needs.

Banes believes that every person, regardless of their learning style or abilities, deserves the chance to shine. “We work tirelessly to empower individuals with special needs in the Philippines, united by our unwavering zeal, providing the resources needed to help them reach their full potential,” he told Valley News Group. “In May 2024, I had the honor of visiting Cornerstone Christian Academy to share my life’s inspiring journey with the students – from humble beginnings in the Philippines to migrating to the United States. I aimed to resonate with these bright young minds. During my visit, I had the pleasure of reconnecting with some of my former teachers, and we bonded over a meal at a Filipino restaurant. It was a heartwarming experience, reminiscing about the past and celebrating the progress we’ve made. Meanwhile, the students prepared a vibrant dance performance as an icebreaker, showcasing their talents and bringing joy to the gathering.”

With initial fundraising with the Beacon of Zeal, Banes was able to fund five students at a private school, as public schools in the Philippines are way behind the norm. “My journey is one of resilience and determination. Growing up in the Philippines, I faced numerous challenges, but these experiences shaped my strength and purpose. Transitioning to life in the United States brought its own hurdles but also opened up many opportunities. I wanted the students to understand that no dream is too big to achieve, emphasizing the importance of perseverance,” he explained.

Beacon of Zeal remains dedicated to its mission, continuing to advocate for and empower individuals with special needs, providing the resources and support they need to thrive. Its vision is a world where every individual has the opportunity to shine. Join them in their journey of empowerment and advocacy. For more information or to donate call Banes directly at (818) 235-8517. 

“Together, we can be the beacon of zeal that lights the way for others,” said Banes.


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