Disney Channel Star Cameron Boyce Discussed Wanting to Be a 'Difference Maker' in One of His Final Interviews
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Before his untimely death on Saturday, Disney Channel star Cameron Boyce was a strong advocate for charity work.
In one of his final interviews, the Descendants star opened up about why giving back was so important to him and how it brought meaning to his life.
"There’s a long line of difference makers in my family," he told Haute Living in May. "I’m following in the footsteps of some really strong men and women who have showed me what it means to give back; it’s the greatest way to fulfill yourself."
Later, he added that he actively worked to help others who wanted to get more involved in charity but simply hadn’t figured how they could contribute.
"Many people have the heart to give back, but a lot don’t know how to. I try to be the bridge for those people – whether that means getting them involved in one of my campaigns or inspiring them by showing them a blueprint of how to get others engaged," he told the publication.
He also stated: "Every time I talk to someone who shares that similar passion, we talk about how there aren’t many feelings more euphoric. Changing someone else’s life positively changes yours for the better as well."
The 20-year-old received the Pioneering Spirit Award at the 9th Annual Thirst Gala in April 2018 for raising over $30,000 with the Thirst Project, which helped the charity organization build two wells in Swaziland, providing clean drinking water to communities in the region.
Boyce, who was African American and Jewish, also discussed how his family regularly inspired him, including his grandmother, Jo Ann Boyce, who was a member of the Clinton 12, a group Tennessee students who were the first to desegregate a state-run high school in 1956.
"I have plenty of ancestors and family members that I can look to for strength, and more importantly, for a grateful outlook on life," he told the magazine. "Every one of them clawed and scratched for my sister and I to be in the position we’re in today."
A spokesperson for the Boyce family told ET on Sunday morning that the actor had died of a seizure in his sleep on Saturday night.
On Sunday morning, the Thirst Project released a statement reacting to the tragic loss.
"We are at loss for words and a bit shaken up from the news of the unfortunate and untimely passing of our dear friend," read a statement shared to Twitter. "Cameron was such an amazing light to many and also did so much for Thirst Project. He was always looking to help others and in his #ThirstGala speech, he explained it perfectly. With his time here, he certainly left something bigger than himself and we are SO honored to have been a part of his life and to have been able to change the world together. As we remember him, let’s all do our part to use what we have and leave something bigger than ourselves."
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Cameron Boyce, Disney Channel Star, Dead at 20