MEET OUR TEAM


 

MANUEL WHITE

A 9-year veteran of the Pasadena Fire Department, who is the father of two beautiful boys Isaiah (7) and Evan White (5).  Manuel was raised in the Santa Clarita Valley, where he attended Valencia High School. He excelled both athletically and academically and earned a scholarship to attend University of California Los Angeles.  While at UCLA, Manuel was a 3 year starter at running back and also served as team captain both his Junior and Senior years.  After earning a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Manuel was drafted to the Washington Redskins to continue his football career professionally.  Manuel spent two injury stricken years in the NFL and as a result came to the conclusion that it was time to begin another chapter in his life.  He began to pursue his life long dream of becoming a fire fighter.  Manuel now spends a lot of his time working with youth giving back to his community. 

 

Doris Laurie

Co-founder

I’ve always had a strong love for children. I believe children are the future. Everything revolves around children. Originally, I wanted to develop children's television programming but opted not to do so, sacrificing my career, in order to focus on my children. The film and television industry requires ones undivided attention, which I was not willing to take from my family. Instead I decided to work for the Department of Public and Social Services. I found myself motivating and inspiring people to further their education as well as finding a better way of life for themselves.

I have four children, which includes two step sons, one of whom we lost in my family. Our loss motivated me to make necessary changes. I wanted to help educate and inform other parents on all topics of child safety, but especially window safety. After extensive research, I found statistics and safety issues regarding accidental child deaths in from 1990 to 2008. I found similar incidents had occurred all over the world and continue to do so. After these findings, I decided it was time for someone to take a stand and teach what others may or may not already know, in an effort to save other more lives. Merely educating will cause others to look around their homes and others for safety issues and to change them before any accidents occur.

The development of this foundation was based around the main premise of increasing safety awareness through safety seminars for children and parents, public education, presenting within the community, literature (brochures, coloring books, and newsletters), and entertainment.

 

Kristin Best

Co-founder

Tuesday, March 9, 2009, Kristin picked Dylan (7), Ashley, and Alyssa up from school with their baby brother Austin. After meeting with Dylan's teacher that day, who agreed Dylan would make a difference in the world one day, they all walked home to work on Dylan's class project. Later that evening, Kristin, Dylan, Ashley and Austin sat in the kitchen working on Dylan’s school project. Afterwards, Kristin decided to take the trash out. She left all the kids in the kitchen, telling them she would be right back. She took the keys to lock the door and took the trash out. Dylan ran up stairs to his sister’s room to grab an eraser. The other children followed behind. He heard voices coming form cross the street and decided to open the window, which they never opened, to ask his friend if she could play. Dylan fell through the screen and Ashley screamed. Kristin heard the screams from the trashcans and frantically ran to the side of the house and saw Dylan. Kristin, trying to remain calm, put her hand under Dylan’s head a bit and began talking. She said, “Dylan, stay with me. I love you. Come on baby, we gotta make it. ” A neighbor dialed 911. When the paramedics arrived, as Dylan lay in his mom’s arms, he passed away.

Doris Laurie and Kristin Best have joined together to create the Dylan Keith & Laurie Foundation, vowing to never let this happen again. They are seeking a partnership with the premier window latch company in an effort to ensure all homes have windows latches installed, as well as informing safety advocates, educators, parents and the community of the importance window safety and accident prevention. The mission of the DylanKeith & Laurie Foundation is to educate and inform the community of the importance of securing windows in their homes.