Newest Hero!

Meet my newest Haley’s Hero: Asia Newson!

In 1971, I played little league baseball for the Pirates. We won the Ypsilanti Little League championship that year with a combined score of 32-1 for the two games over the Indians and the Braves. We had some great ballplayers on that team and I have always thought that it was tremendous accomplishment for an 11 year old at the time. Until a few days ago that is. That’s when I learned more about a truly remarkable young lady named Asia Newson from Detroit, Michigan who is now 11.

Just before this past Christmas as I watched the local evening Fox2 news report, I saw a segment on this beautiful and charming girl named Asia who had taken the proceeds from candle sales to purchase and donate coats for local children. Actually it was over a hundred children. It’s cold in Detroit this time of year and she kept noticing kids in her neighborhood of Brightmoor not wearing any coats or jackets; so she decided to do something about it. I know that feeling. My daughter Devan and I drove to Mississippi from Ohio after hurricane Katrina hit to deliver a trailer full of clothes. You can read about it elsewhere on the site because this is not about Devan and I, it’s about Asia. I’m just saying that I truly can understand and relate to what she is doing with her coat drive.

Asia is the CEO and co-founder of a company that she created when she was five years old. FIVE!! I was watching Bugs Bunny when I was five. I could barely talk when I was five! The name of the company is Super Business Girl. Asia has an online site where you can purchase the candles that she and her parents make from home. Her father taught her how to make them when she was just a little girl. You can also purchase hats and T-shirts from her store to help invest in her cause. Trust me, there is a lot more to Asia Newson than making a few bucks from product sales. Lots more!

Asia’s mission is to recognize the true potential in every child and to develop intrinsic security that makes optimum use of their individualized talent. Wow! Do you realize how powerful this is and will be? Recently on ABC’s 20/20, Asia was seen conducting a training class for a room full of kids. She is teaching them how to become YOUTHpreneurs like herself. Imagine the impact that she is having and will have on these bright young minds. I wonder what will be in store for them now.

It’s too bad that people become so cynical. I can only imagine that there are a few people who after watching and learning about Asia believe her to be a trained circus monkey. A modern day business version of a talent like Shirley Temple who was taught and groomed by her parents and others to perform for them and make money instead of singing and dancing her way into our hearts. What a shame if that is the case. Ever see the movie with Steve Martin and Debra Winger called, Leap of Faith? In it, Steve Martin describes the young boy who was not a plant in the audience but who was actually healed through faith as the “genuine article” Asia Newson is truly the genuine article. See for yourself. Watch the 20/20 clip. Watch that lady hug and kiss her. That’s not fake. Coincidentally, Asia just appeared yesterday, (1/22/15), on the Ellen Degeneres show. She was great and carried herself with grace and confidence. At the end of the show, Ellen presented her with a sizable donation for her cause and her company. Asia couldn’t believe it and gave Ellen this huge hug. It was really cool. Ask Ellen Degeneres if Asia is a fake and see what she says. Look at the clip, which I bet will be on her site soon, and see the look on her mom’s face in the audience, that’s not fake either. Sorry cynics but this is not contrived or manipulated in any way. Asia is the real McCoy.

Most of us know that post war Detroit was one of the best cities to live and work in not only in America but also the world. The auto industry created a boom here never seen before in our country. Over the years for a variety of reasons it has been in decline. We have all seen and felt it. There’s a reason you become the butt of late night jokes and commentary. Like it or not we were the center of the “rust belt”. Having the city declare bankruptcy recently hasn’t helped that image much either. I’ve often had discussions about what it might take to bring back the wealth, prosperity, and vitality of yesteryear to Detroit. The Illitch family and Ford family, among others, have done wonders for the downtown area but what about the rest of the city? What is the solution to the poverty, violence, and despair for the people who do not live in the Renaissance Center? Now I know. It must come from the hearts of people like Asia Newson. Do you remember that the Grinch had a heart three sizes too small? Well, her’s is three sizes too big!

When asked about the reason most people don’t succeed Asia replied, “Lack of motivation”! Thank you Asia for helping to restore mine. I purchased a candle from your website,, as a reminder of what we all can become. You are not just inspiring people your own age young lady but big kids like me as well. I plan on keeping it by my computer so that I can see and smell it every day. I can’t wait to hear Asia’s acceptance speech when she becomes Detroit’s youngest mayor ever. When she tells us what it’s going to take to change things, we sure better believe her! Lord willing, I’ll still be alive to help her gain the oval office; another one of her lofty goals, because she already has my vote!

Imagine what kids can do…