There are many people who I consider to be role models. Chief among these individuals is William Henry “Hank” Green. Hank is a musician who celebrates nerd culture. He does this in his songs, his videos, and his charity work. He is also an educator and has done a significant amount of charity work.
Hank Green writes many songs focusing on common and uncommon themes alike, all while putting an interesting geeky twist on them. For instance, he wrote a song about love, but it focused on an old crush he had on a celebrity, Helen Hunt. He has written a song about video games, “The Man Who Throws the Tetris Piece,” as well as one comparing his loneliness to that of a strange animal, “A Song About an Anglerfish.” He also, along with his brother John, hosts a video series on YouTube called “Vlogbrothers.” In this web series, they talk about various news events, recount tales of their childhood, and encourage their followers, referred to as “nerdfighters”, to keep being awesome by performing various acts of charity and treating others with respect. Hank and his brother have gained such a following that Hank has started an annual convention, Vidcon, for their fans to meet them and several other people on YouTube who have been signed to Hank’s record label. In all these ways, he both engages his fans and entertains them, causing them to think about their impact on the world while making them see that they should try to enjoy what little time they have on this planet.
Hank hosts or co-hosts several other channels, as well as a variety of websites devoted to science. One of his channels, which he again hosts with his brother, is called Crash Course. This particular channel is devoted to making high school classes more easily accessible, and gives rough ten-minute overviews of each section in the course material. Hank covers science classes, while John maintains both history and literature courses. Another of Hank’s channels is Scishow, which is devoted to covering science topics of various complexity levels in a way which is easier for the viewer to understand. He also runs EcoGeek, a website devoted to talking about the ways in which various technologies can be used to help protect the environment and save the planet. In these ways, Hank uses his fame as a tool to educate those he frequently entertains. He and his brother realize that they have the attention of a demographic which is still open-minded about the world, and they believe in the first amendment right to petition, and that petitions actually work. They have shown time and again that when a community comes together, great things can happen.
Stemming from both of the above roles that Hank has played, those of an entertainer and an educator, Green is also a philanthropist. He has worked through Kiva, a website which allows people to loan money to those in poverty who wish to better themselves. Kiva allows someone to give $25 to a student hoping to go to college, a farmer hoping to expand his business, or a town hoping to make themselves more self-reliant by starting a community garden, all with a fairly high chance of being paid back in the future. Green has also started the Project for Awesome, an annual event focused on decreasing “WorldSuck,” something which includes everything from human trafficking to gun-related deaths. In this event, various people make videos supporting various charities, and money is donated by those involved. The charities featured in the five videos with the most support by the end of the day receive the donations. Hank also supports people in another way. He has met many aspiring independent musicians similar to him over the years. These individuals and bands he has incorporated into his own record label, DFTBA Records. The site hosts a shop for both the musicians’ music as well as any t-shirts or other merchandise, and it also serves to advertise posters relating to John’s books as well as the Vlogbrothers and Crash Course web series. This allows musicians under his label to benefit from cross-promotion, as someone comes to the website looking for things related to John, Hank, or another person, and leaves with interest in the works of several other artists under the label. It may not be donating on the scale of Bill Gates, but it helps people to make money off of what they love, which, when you see how much these artists pay the support forward, is a truly marvelous thing indeed.
In conclusion, Hank Green, as well as his brother John, has done numerous things to inspire thousands of people. He has lived his dream, one of becoming a musician. Upon becoming famous, he has decided to use his fame to educate the masses as well as help those less fortunate than himself. He did not let the fame go to his head, but rather has decided to use it to reach out to those who can make change. He and his brother have spoken to President Obama, urged their fanbase to send letters to their local, state, and federal officials regarding issues that matter to them, and have hosted events centered around donating to those in poverty. All of these things he does with a smile on his face and a song in his heart, soldiering on against every injustice and striving to make this world a better place for all who inhabit it.