Conner says, "When I heard that 22 veterans a day on average take their lives. So that's when I knew I had to do something."
He started researching various veterans organizations. "I looked into a bunch of veteran organizations and I found Mission 22 really does what they say they do with the money so I thought that was very important."
In addition to learning science and math, Open Program students gain skills necessary to be a successful adult .
Oregon High School Principal Andrew Nelson says, "When they run into those failures rather then retreating within themselves and it's like, I can't do this. Okay, What did you do wrong? What are you going to do differently? How are you going to fix that? Those are very real, highly important adult skills that are going to serve them well in the future."
Conner became an ambassador for Mission 22 and organized a 22 mile walk to raise funds and awareness for veteran suicide. Conner admits putting together such a big event was more of a challenge than he expected.
Nelson says, "We've seen kids literally blossom because all of the sudden they realize that yeah I've got a lot more personal power then I ever gave myself credit for."
Conner adds the project has helped him decide his future. "Either the naval academy or an NROTC program to become an officer in the military. Looking at either the Navy or Marines. So I definitely plan on serving and making a career of it."
Conner's event was a big success! He finished the walk in six hours, 45 minutes. He raised nearly $4,000. dollars for Mission 22.
To watch a short video featuring Connor click below: