Ryan Doyle, who graduated from the University in 2008, is showing students that they don’t have to wait for graduation to leave their mark on society. According to Doyle, they can do it right now.

In November of 2007, Doyle and his business partner, Kevin Smith, launched their own non-profit organization, Live 2 Give, to help families facing financial difficulties in Michigan.

As of now, they have five members who work for the non-profit — all under the age of 23.

“I am a social entrepreneur who is judged by my impact on society” Doyle said.

Doyle majored in psychology with a focus on the business sector and Smith graduated from the business school at Michigan State University with a major in finance. Doyle said that Smith handles the business side of the organization, mostly “dotting the Is and crossing the Ts.”

Doyle emphasized, however, that he and Smith worked closely to develop the foundation of the organization. Doyle added that he handles “more of the human element and human behaviors.”

“I’m the vision man,” Doyle said.

Doyle said one of the goals of the organization is to give back the “personal touch” that he feels a lot of businesses and non-profits are missing.

“We’re trying to be activist and trying to create our own job opportunities instead of being stuck in this negative vibe that is so prevalent in Michigan,” Doyle said.

Doyle and Smith spent about a year developing their message on their website, which now includes short films showcasing the families they are helping.

Doyle said he wanted his organization to make a visible difference in the lives of the families he helps and hoped to do “something that was as personal as possible and making it very transparent so that everyone can see where the dollar is going.”

After helping their first family, the Sharfenbergs, they released their first video and were able to fundraise up to $5,000 for their next family, the Kents.

Doyle said that his film-making skills started off as just a hobby — self-taught and self-learned. He said he just has that “natural vision and knowing what’s moving.”

Doyle said he spends his days doing things from general marketing and advertising, developing fundraising ideas and planning future endeavors for his organization.

“I spend a sufficient amount of my day trying to figure out what to do next,” he said.

He said he also spends a lot of his time talking to the families and monitoring their progress, to give the organization that “personal touch.”

“I’ve always wanted to own my own business,” Doyle said. “And I always wanted to be a part of growing something out of the ordinary and it was my first large-scale attempt to change the world the best that I could”

Doyle said his business “was absolutely U of M inspired,” and added this education and experiences were a large part of what motivated him to start his non-profit.

“I’ve lived such a blessed life and wanted to have the chance to share those opportunities with other people,” Doyle said.

Even though the business is still young, Doyle said he and Smith are making great strides. The pair are currently in a competition to be named one of the best charities in Michigan and as of yesterday, Live 2 Give was nominated fifth out of 450 charities. Smith and Doyle are in competition with charities including Beaumont Hospitals and the Salvation Army.

Doyle said that Live 2 Give is “the little guy trying to put a fighting chance against the big guys.”

The prize for contest is $10,000, which Doyle said will go to the Shuck family if they win.

Doyle said the Shucks are an Oakland County family suffering from cancer, homelessness and poverty. Six years ago, Doyle said they were living life as a “normal family.”

He added, the organization is “just trying helping with the miracle they need to help themselves.”

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