Brea Dowell, a rising fourth grader at New Lane Elementary School, won a $1,000 scholarship through the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program.

(Originally posted on, 7/25/2014)

Eight-year-old Brea Dowell exhibited early on the makings of a philanthropist.

At an age when most other children are tugging at their parents’ purse strings, the student at Selden’s New Lane Elementary School sought to raise her own money to help people in need.

“When Brea was six, she said ‘I want to help someone, I want to do something, I’ve got money under my bed and I want to give it to someone who needs help,’” said Nichole Dowell, Brea’s mom.

Brea’s first entrepreneurial attempt was trying to sell tap water to cars passing by. When that didn’t work, she asked her mom for help selling lemonade outside of her grandmother’s house in Farmingville. She soon began selling lemonade out of a custom stand – pink lemonade, for breast cancer.

“Brea’s aunt Donna is a five-year survivor of breast cancer,” said Nichole. “Brea works side-by-side with her aunt, who raises money too.”

With the money raised from her pink lemonade stands in the summer, and with sales from her pink pumpkin patches in October, the pint-sized philanthropist was soon able to raise $12,500.

Brea was nominated by her third-grade teachers for a Kohl’s Cares Scholarship, which awards money to student-volunteers between the ages of six and 18. She won a $50 Kohl’s gift card as a local winner and soon advanced to the regional level where she was selected from among a pool of 37,000 kids. She is now facing off against 184 other kids for the national title. The grand prize is a $9,000 scholarship and $1,000 donation towards the charity of her choice.

Brea will continue to sell lemonade and pink pumpkins to donate to First Company Pink, founded by her aunt Donna and which works in conjunction with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.