Kirt Bennett

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Kirt Bennett was only 26 when he appeared on The Oprah Show in 2000 as a recipient of Oprah's Angel Network's $50,000 Use Your Life Award.

Kirt founded the Young Leaders' Academy of Baton Rouge, an education program that prepares at-risk boys to become the leaders of tomorrow. Since 1993, the Young Leaders' Academy has been teaching young men to be role models in their community, to value themselves and make their own dreams come true.

When he appeared on The Oprah Show, Kirt said the education he was providing his students instilled in them an increased sense of ownership and leadership. Aside from the Use Your Life Award, which he received in 2000, Kirt received three U.S. Presidential Service Awards, the National Points of Light Award and an FBI community service award.

After Kirt won the Angel Network Use Your Life Award, the community of Baton Rouge rallied to support the Young Leaders' Academy. With the $50,000 plus additional donations totaling almost a half million dollars, Kirt was able to expand his program and help twice as many boys.

Kirt Bennett died on May 3, 2010, after suffering a stroke the previous week. He was 42.

Learn more about Kirt's work with the Young Leaders' Academy.