Chase Hartman of Tampa, Florida is a community changemaker, youth leader and “kidpreneur” dedicated to finding solutions to some of the toughest challenges in our country.
Sixteen-year-old Chase co-founded a non-profit called Eco Brothers and an award-winning book distribution project called “read.repeat.”. Focusing his efforts on improving literacy rates, he’s collected and distributed more than 180,000 books and impacted the lives of more than 40,000 students in Hillsborough County, Florida. Chase champions the need for more books-with-diversity and dual language books in local Title-1 schools and has worked to raise more than $60,000 to purchase them.
Chase enjoys the challenges of leadership opportunities and served as Senior Patrol Leader in Boy Scout Troop 46, where he also achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. For the service project required for this respected rank, he designed and planted a butterfly garden at his former elementary school and purchased butterfly habitats for each classroom to learn more about the importance of the declining monarch butterfly. He’s attended leadership workshops through Boy Scouts with the National Youth Leadership Training and also at American University with the National Student Leadership Conference.
A 4.0 GPA student, Chase is a member of National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, and is Vice President of Student Government at his high school. Chase’s academic and community service efforts have been recognized by the Dr. Ben Carson Scholar Fund which awarded him as a Carson Scholar. Chase is a Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Team Community Hero of Tomorrow recipient, Florida’s Prudential Spirit of the Community Honoree and was also recognized by the EPA as a President’s Environmental Youth Award winner.
Chase’s goals are to continue competing in swimming at the collegiate level and earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
Co-Founder, Vice President
Zach was 7 years old when his parents asked him to start taking out the trash. “I realized we only got one trash day for recycling items and actually two pickups a week for regular trash. I wondered where all of our trash would go,” says Zach. In 2017, he launched a service project called Zach’s Planet to fulfill his mission to help the planet and his community.
Researching areas where he could best help, Zach was alarmed to learn that 300 million books are discarded into landfills each year, and that a lot of parents throw away stuffed animals that their kids have outgrown, because many resale shops don’t accept them. He began organizing collection drives, and so far he’s succeeded in keeping 125,000 pounds of used items out of local landfills, and saving 5000 trees by promoting reuse of books.
Zach’s efforts of kindness were featured in Woman's Day Magazine and recognized by the Greater Tampa Bay Area Boy Scout office. He also won the EPA's 2019 President's Environmental Youth Award representing Region 4 and was one of the Top 3 elementary school environmental projects in the nation. In 2020, he won the Action for Nature Eco Hero Award and appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show and the nationally syndicated show, The Doctors, promoting his community service efforts. Dr, Ian recognized him as the 2020 Environmental Crusader of the Year.