When Caine Monroy was just 9 years old, he spent his summer vacation building a DIY cardboard arcade in his father’s used auto parts store. He created displays for his prizes, which were his own toy cars, hand labeled prize bags, and even designed an elaborate security system for his fun pass. Caine sold a $1 ticket that got you 2 turns or a $2 Fun Pass that got you 500 turns. Although his father’s auto parts store didn’t get much foot traffic, on the last day of summer Nirvan Mullick walked into the store. After he picked up his car part, Caine asked him if he wanted to play his arcade. Nirvan was Caine’s first customer. Nirvan is a filmmaker and asked if he could make a short film about Caine’s arcade.
The short film was posted on April 9th, 2012 and within the first 24 hours, it received over 1 million views. Nirvan started a scholarship fund for Caine and was hoping to raise $25,000. Within the first two days he raised $110,000. Since, they have raised $240,000 for Caine’s scholarship fund. But this project isn’t just benefiting Caine. Just 5 days after the film was posted, they launched the Imagination Foundation. As it says on the Imagination foundation’s website, “The mission of the Imagination Foundation is to find, foster and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in children around the world to raise a new generation of innovators and problem solvers who have the tools they need to build the world they imagine”. The Foundation has partnered with National Head Start Association to bring early STEM education to 30,000 Pre-K kids, primarily in under-served communities. They have also launched “Imagination Chapters” to help give kids time and space for Creative Play every week. This program has expanded to over 130 Imagination Chapters in 20 countries, providing over 3,000 kids with time and space for regular Creative Play for 9 months.
It is clear that this family is having a great impact on the young generation of society. This is all due to a young man with a big dream.