Young philanthropist is Superintendent's January Superstar

The superintendent's January Superstar is a Fresno County teenager who has spent half her life helping the less fortunate. Sixteen year old Kaitlin Riffel is the founding director of Kids on a Mission. It's a non-profit group that encourages kids to serve their community or possibly people in need in third world countries.

Since she was eight Riffel has been raising money money to help others. Her first fundraising effort created a $75,000 playground for the Fresno Rescue Mission. "It's so rewarding just being able to serve others and be alive. It's just amazing to be a part of that. I would encourage everyone to get out of their comfort zone and serve others."

Kaitlin is independently home-schooled and takes classes at Clovis Community College as a junior in high school. Fresno County's Superintendent of Schools Jim Yovino is in awe of the young philanthropist. "This is a kid who figured out at an early age that she can make a difference in the world. This kid has the most giving heart I've ever seen in a child."

Her fundraising efforts aren't just focused at home. Kaitlin took a team to El Salvador in 2013 to build two homes, hand out water filters and provide hundreds of meals to the less fortunate. She went back a year later and helped put new roofs on nearly two dozen homes. The January superstar is always looking for new recruits to join Kids on a Mission. "I've been able to talk to them and that has inspired them to jump on board just because they want to and want to make a difference."

Last year Kaitlin joined a mission trip to Kenya. She's also headed up a mission to Costa Rica. If you would like to learn more about her non-profit organization go to

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