For this young girl, there isn’t enough time in a day to do everything she’d like to do. Along with her school work, she takes guitar lessons, is a member of her school’s track and field team, and dances five days a week, on average. She said dancing is a way she can express herself.
But it’s her effort to help others that really gives her a sense of satisfaction, such as launching an annual charity in 2012. Through the charity, in lieu of birthday gifts, every year she asks her party guests to bring gently worn or new winter coats, boots and other winter gear. She donates the items to underprivileged children at the Ingalls School in Lynn. She also donates all of her gently worn clothes and toys to the Salvation Army and Ruth’s Place thrift shop.
“This (charitable clothing collection) caused a tidal wave of donations from many people who heard through the grape vine,” said Ryleigh’s mother, Jessica Cyr. “Last year she collected 103 winter items and this year her goal is 500 items.”
“I just want to help other kids,” Ryleigh said. “I hear about people who need help and my mom’s a nurse who tells me about kids and I think about ways to help them.”
Every year when the city holds its annual spring cleaning in celebration of Earth Day, Ryleigh picks up the litter in her Merrill Avenue neighborhood.
She also researches and conducts her own science experiments and hopes to find a cure for cancer someday. Finding a cure is close to her heart, her mother said, because Ryleigh watched her godfather and close friends lose their battles with the disease.
“I really like chemistry and science, and sometimes I buy science kits,” Ryleigh said. “Right now, I’m making crystallized rock candy. I also do things that fizz and experiments with acids and base.”