Compassionate Leadership

Charlotte Stein, 15

Charlotte Stein, 15, is an animal lover and avid horseback rider. She has been taking riding lessons at Moss Beach Ranch with trainer Mimi Mansour for the last eight years. Stein spends multiple afternoons per week at Moss Beach Ranch, where it has been a difficult winter.

“My riding instructor is struggling financially, especially with the weather,” said Stein. “Her income is from lessons and because the weather has been so bad she has taken a financial hit.”


On top of the rain and flooding, Mansour’s ranch dog, Ray, injured her leg and needed surgery. When Stein heard about Ray needing a $10,000 surgery, she immediately knew she wanted to help. 

“I wanted to help Mimi out because she is cool, and helps me get better with horses. She is a really good lesson instructor and I wanted to give back,” said Stein. 

Stein is a 10th grader in Coastside Leadership Academy’s homeschool program, and she spent her February Break organizing a bake sale fundraiser to raise money for Ray’s surgery. This was her first time creating a fundraiser and she took a leadership role throughout the entire process. In only a week’s time Stein came up with the idea, advertised the fundraiser on social media, baked, and distributed the cookies to all of the people who contributed. She created boxes of eight, large, chocolate chip cookies that sold for $15 each. 

“We had about 60 orders from people in the community, and I baked over 500 cookies,” said Stein.

Photo Courtesy of the Stein Family

Stein credits learning how to use Google sheets at Coastside Leadership Academy for helping her with the fundraiser. She meticulously kept track of her expenses and the orders. 

“I learned how to create a Google sheet at CLA in the fall, and the spreadsheets helped me stay organized with the orders,” said Stein. “It was really cool to see how many people from the community wanted to help too. My spreadsheet was full.”

“I am so proud of Charlotte’s leadership,” said Lindsay Stewart, Stein’s teacher, and one of the founders of Coastside Leadership Academy. “She is proof that when you take the busy work of homework away, students have more space to do the things they enjoy, get involved in their community, and be compassionate leaders.”

The fundraiser raised $1,800 from cookie boxes and donations. Stein’s sister, Morgan, also contributed some paintings to the fundraiser that sold for $200. The total donation to Mansour was $2,000 for the surgery.

Photo Courtesy of the Stein Family

“Mimi was really happy and shocked that we were able to raise that much money. Her reaction was priceless. She hugged me, and said she was really proud of me for helping her,” said Stein.

Stein described the experience as hard work and rewarding. She enjoyed learning about finances and how to run a cookie business, but the part she enjoyed most was helping Mansour and Ray. 

“I can’t wait to see Ray again. I will feel so happy when she runs towards me at the ranch.” said Stein.

With the donations, Ray had a successful surgery and is now recovering. Just in time for spring.

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