Shawn Dawson freely admits that it took hard work to build his restaurant, retail, real estate, and new media businesses. But he believes that this success wouldn't have happened without the mentors who generously shared their knowledge, encouragement, and access to specialized resources. An invitation to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and to participate in a Habitat for Humanity build opened his eyes to the fact that those mentors and resources are thin on the ground in many parts of the world
“I saw pride shining in the eyes of my build partner as we looked at the simple home we were building. He was sacrificing hours normally spent farming the small field that fed his wife and children on behalf of a village family who possessed even less than he did. Later, when the North American volunteers collapsed into our cots, he would bolt down a small meal and go out into the night to tend his crops. I gave up some of my leisure time and a bit of cash in order to volunteer, but he was literally risking hunger in order to improve the lives of other human beings.
That moment clarified my understanding of Ghandi's challenge to "Be the change we want to see in the world." I climbed Mount Everest by focusing on taking each step, not by focusing on the top of the mountain. Give a child the opportunity to attend school, a nutritious breakfast that allows her to focus on the lesson instead of her hunger.a stable home in which to do homework and water that won't make her ill--and you give that child the chance to succeed at climbing her own version of Everest."
Shawn decided to combine his dream of summiting the highest peak on each of the seven continents with supporting seven organizations that are dedicated to giving a hand up—some groups are local, some are global, but they all focus on direct action. With the help of his network of friends, family, and professional associates, he is committed to raising a dollar for each foot of the combined total elevation of the seven summits--$142,114.
Shawn Dawson splits his time between the small town he grew up in, the St. Lawrence River community of