Breaking Away Award of Excellence: Steven Wright, 4Walls Int’l
KUSI and Torrey Pines Bank are proud to honor people and businesses in San Diego who give back to our community and others. This week we honor Steven Wright with the Breaking Away Award of Excellence. He is the co-founder of 4Walls International, an organization that engages with underprivileged communities through philanthropy, environmental education and repurposing waste. More specifically, they unite with people, listen to their local leaders’ needs, then collect trash within the community and use it to build homes, businesses and recreational facilities.
Steven was originally inspired to work with impoverished groups like these because he went on a trip to South East Asia in college. He saw how much waste and degradation there was in places away from home and knew that this is what he was supposed to do with his life. Today, he has dedicated himself to helping the patriarchs of Tijuana’s poorest communities build sustainable housing out of trash.
His nominator Jon Ossie tells us how he builds “incredibly strong housing structures that are helping the community in a number of ways. He teaches the local workforce the skills necessary to repeat the process working to make the organization a true change agent for the improving of the human condition.” He also visits other countries in South America to do the same. He tells us, genuinely, how much he enjoys doing this every day, “the best way to feel good about yourself is by helping others. It’s easy to get up in the morning knowing you’re fighting for environmental and social justice.”
We met Steven at one of their sites, Border Field State Park, where they’ve made the park more accessible and presentable for San Diegans. He explained the processes they took to transform 2000 bottles, filled them with wastes/foams and combined with the structures of tires and other used (usually expensive) materials, to make it more aesthetically pleasing and environmentally conscious. He’s worked in partnership with many non-profit organizations like his own to combine resources. Some of these include A Reason to Survive (ARTS) and the San Diego Foundation.
He is a kind person and a joy to be around and deserving of this award and many more for his heartfelt work he does in our community. But according to him, “we haven’t made the dent that we plan to in the future. We want to make a visible and tangible impact and replace ourselves with more leaders along the way.”
To learn more about how to donate or take action with this life changing organization please visit http://www.4wallsintl.org/ or visit them on Facebook. Get involved somehow, because, as their site says, “the world is littered with opportunity.”