Harlingen teen raises his own money for MMA Summer Camp

HARLINGEN — Carlo Vento of Harlingen proved the timeless adage, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” when he raised 100 percent of the money he needed to attend Marine Military Academy Summer Camp.

Carlo first learned about MMA Summer Camp April 30, when he participated in MMA’s “Men’s Morning Adventure” event. Due to rain, Carlo and the other boys were only able to zipline once, but that one thrill was enough for him to want to register for summer camp.

With just eight weeks until the start of camp, the 13-year-old had to figure out a way to raise the money.

He first went to a fundraising website and began selling pre-packaged bags of flavored popcorn at his brother’s baseball games. He sold all his popcorn in just a few weeks, but he raised just a sixth of the amount that was needed. Carlo then tried another strategy: sponsors.

He began writing and emailing letters to Harlingen businesses and scheduling appointments with the owners. Though he was attending his school’s leadership camp most of the day, Carlo’s mother drove him to his appointments between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. His mother never sat with him in his meetings. In fact, she stayed in the car and let him speak with each business owner alone.

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