Chasten Whitfield donates her tournament winnings to various charities.
Chasten Whitfield is a very unique 15-year-old. At the age of three, she learned about fishing and instantly fell in love. Her passion sparked bullying by her classmates, as she was the only girl in the school who likes to fish. She is now in high school and is showing everyone what she can really do. She participates in – and wins – local fishing tournaments around her hometown of Bradenton, Florida.
A local news station interviewed Whitfield while she fished for tarpon. “I fish with my heart. I’m like, ‘Oh dear God, please help me catch fish and win the tournament so the Face Autism kids get the money and help them get bigger,'” she said.
Her mother initially convinced Whitfield to enter her first tournament, which she won. She soon decided she couldn’t keep the prize money and decided it would be put to better use in a charity. Since 2013, she has helped raise thousands of dollars for various charities by winning fishing tournaments.
Her crusade isn’t just on the water either. She started holding fundraisers when she was in kindergarten, when she sold lemonade. She continues to hold at least one fundraiser every year. She also sells t-shirts on her website, and 100% of the profits benefit the Prospect Riding Center. The nonprofit organization offers therapeutic and recreational horseback riding to children with special needs.
I think I speak for the entire fishing community by saying how amazing it is to see someone so young have a passion and use it to help others. I hope more people follow her example and help others with their passion for the outdoors.
She will be participating in the Croithswaite Tournament in Bradenton this coming weekend and has at least four more tournaments scheduled before the end of the year.
For more information, or to help support Chasten’s causes, visit her website.