Mike Smith inspires students to "Be the difference."

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Updated: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:29:21 CST

He's a small town guy with big time goals.

"I understand the culture of small towns and so the opportunity that young kids have to see somebody come back and tell them it's okay to dream big. It's okay to believe that you can do big things. I think that's important for our kids to hear that," said Mike Smith, founder of Skate for Change.

Nebraska Native Mike Smith has made it his mission to help the homeless. On Monday, he reminded Grand Island Northwest students they too can make a difference.

"I felt like I wasn't gonna finish high school because I struggle but after hearing him I know I can do it," said Maeda Finley, a sophomore at Northwest.

"It made me think that everything is possible and instead of giving up on stuff just keep pushing," said Danielle Bailey, a sophomore at Northwest.

For the past three summers, Mike's organization, Skate for Change, has hopped on their skateboards and rolled across the state for the homeless.

"I'm teaching kids that just a couple hours a week has the opportunity to leave a little bit of a legacy behind," said Mike Smith.

This summer he's going from NY to LA with a goal of giving out 1 million pairs of socks to the homeless population.

"I think I've learned to never underestimate how powerful a movement of people is."

On this day, Mike's story will leave a lasting impact on these students.

"I want to become a case worker and help kids in foster care. I was in foster care for 4 years so I want to help kids go through what I went through and help them and make sure they're safe," said Maeda.

Mike's "Be the Difference" campaign is sponsored by Runza. He hopes to continue to inspire students in rural communities across the country.