ORLANDO, Fla. – Two 17-year-old teenagers from Orlando are impacting communities across the world with their radio station. The teens are using the platform to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts.
“A lot of like my friends and family say: we’re not really the typical 17-year-olds and basically video games never really clicked,” Dylan Carollo, the Chief Executive Officer of D-100 radio said.
His passion for music began when he was 11 alongside a friend, Nikolai Eggleton.
“Instead of being on the TV, we would come over we’d work on the radio,” Eggleton said.
The Orlando teens first explored their passion through a podcast.
“Originally it was just a hobby we thought this is something that really no other kids are doing,” Carollo said.
After a year and with thousands of listeners, they closed their podcast and took a leap of faith with an internet radio station: D-100 radio.
The station plays top 40 hits from artists around the world.
“From England to America to South Korea. BTS is an example in South Korea we’ve gained their fanbase off of our radio station,” Carollo said.
For the teens it's not just about playing music, it's also about making a difference in their community. In March, when the coronavirus pandemic broke out, they launched an interactive fundraiser to help in relief efforts for COVID-19.
"We've always had this passion and we've always had this like business mindset and to see that we could help the community and the country at a nationwide level is just fantastic to see," Carollo said.
To make a donation, listeners pay a minimum of $5 to hear their song played, and then they get to choose an organization where their funds will benefit. Dylan and Nikolai decided the funds will go toward six major cities affected the most by the coronavirus.
“Los Angeles, New Orleans, Detroit, Seattle, Boston, and New York and we have one or two organizations within each of those cities,” he said."Your donation 100 percent goes to that organization and then your song request will come on within the next 30 minutes. If you donate more than $25 you get a wrist band and even $75 you get a t-shirt."
Since launching their initiative more than $30,000 have been raised.
For the teens, making sure to stay on track with school work and having some social time is just as important as their radio station.
"Sometimes we go dinner just for fun and other times we're out just working at the meal. So, it's just been kind of cool relationship," Eggleton said.
Two young men who are setting an example with their spirit for giving back.
"They're so committed and passionate about helping our school and helping our community," Derek Daly, Director of Lake Highland's Preparatory school where Dylan and Nikolai are students.
Daly says last year the teens came to him with an idea to be more involved with school events.
“We started doing all the football games, the basketball games, as well as the pep rally,'s to get everyone excited for the games,” Eggleton said.
Daly said they are a reflection of the school’s mission: love, concern, and mutual respect.
"These gentlemen inspire us and all that they do. You know, part of our mission is to create leaders of tomorrow, and Dylan and Nikolai are perfect examples of just that.
It’s their leadership that’s led to a collaboration with Iheart radio and Apple music--an opportunity that’s only expanding their dreams.
"Just because you think you can't do it doesn't mean you shouldn't try," Eggleton said.
Donations are still be accepted for COVID-19 relief organizations, go to https://d100radio.com.