What began as a philanthropic dorm room soap-making project in 2013 turned into a nonprofit organization — with South Lake Tahoe native John Cefalu at the helm.

Planning to graduate from Chapman University this December with a business administration degree and marketing emphasis, the 21-year-old Cefalu continues his work with Health 2 Humanity (H2H) — an organization he founded that focuses on empowering developing countries the same year he began making soap. Now it’s manufactured in bulk in Concord, California.

Cefalu visited Kenya for the first time in 2012, and the locals’ insufficient access to hygiene products inspired him to find a solution. He began H2H — a two-faceted company with corporate and nonprofit sides. The corporate side sells soap, while the nonprofit teaches people in developing countries vocational skills.

“It doesn’t help to simply give goods and services,” Cefalu said. “We wanted to empower individuals in these nations to do it on their own without us having to hold their hands the whole time and create dependency.”

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