BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A month ago, 14-year-old Kevin Giovanni Esparza began selling ice pops, or bolis, with only $20 in his pocket. Now, he has nearly $5,000.
"It makes me feel happy — it makes me smile on seeing how they like the ice pops," Kevin said.
A picture of Kevin selling ice sticks recently blew up on Facebook. Last checked, the post has been shared over 6,000 times.
Kevin says all the money raised is for his mom.
It's really hard not living with a father. My mom took me forward, and I want to thank her for that," he said. "With this business, I want to buy her a house, buy her a car. I have that dream.
Maria Esparza is a single mom, living with Kevin across the street from South High School. She said her son is her hero.
"He is the protagonist of this story," she said, as Kevin translated.
Other community members have stepped up to help. Beatriz Magdaleno, the owner of candy shop @juicypikatreats, has partnered with Kevin to fundraise. With her candy selling and Kevin's ice pops, they've made close to $5,000, Magdaleno said.
He doesn't even know it, but he's a good example for other kids and other mothers and dads that didn't want to be in the picture," she said.
Kevin starts school on August 18, but said he plans to continue selling ice sticks through the school year.
You can follow Kevin on Instagram at @big_kevin_ice_pops, or donate directly via Cash App at $kevinesparzapops or on Venmo @Kevin-Esparza-16.