Cameron Boyce opened up about how his Disney Channel career impacted his life for the better ahead of his tragic death at the age of 20.
On Wednesday, Another Man Magazine released Boyce’s final interview before his death on July 6. In the article, he spoke about how his unexpected fame inspired his need to do good in the world.
“As I grow up, and knowing that the people who I’m reaching are so young, it for sure changes my perspective on how I want to be perceived,” the Descendants star said.
“When working with Make-A-Wish, I’ll spend the day with a nine-year-old girl who’s struggling with an auto-immune disease,” he continued. “She’s so full of life, she’s super excited to see me and wants to talk about the roles I’ve played on the Disney Channel. Those kids definitely change your view of how important it is to be someone who says the right things and has that passion for making the world a little bit better.”
For Boyce, it came as a slight shock to realize he was affecting so many young people’s lives, simply by being himself.
“There have been a couple of times where I’ve been like, ‘wow, these people actually really care about my opinion, that’s crazy,'” Boyce added. “For me, it’s one of those things where, as long as I’m in a space where I can control it. That feels more manageable. As long as it’s not a million people!”
Boyce explained that he held his grandmother and his mother, Libby, as the most positive influences in his life.
“Every time in school I could write about something, I would always choose her,” he said of his grandmother. “It was always about her. She was so obviously magnetic, and so obviously cherished by everyone.”
“My mum literally drives into Skid Row every day and manages teams that are assembled to walk around and engage with usually chronically homeless people and try to get them into permanent housing,” he added. “My mum is a total go-getter. She tells me all the time, ‘why haven’t you done this already? I know you’re passionate about it.’ I’m like, ‘yeah you’re right, I should do that.'”
His mother and grandmother’s insistence at changing the world led Boyce to his work with the Thirst Project, a charity set up by college students in Southern California which educates children around the U.S. about the global water crisis.
“They started a foundation and now they’re building wells,” he said. “It’s super cool. We always make so many excuses for ourselves – ‘I’m so busy, I’m so tired, I don’t want to do it.’ You know? I’m passionate about it, but I’m not going to be the person that changes things. Why do we tell ourselves that? We totally could. There are so many people who are making so much change just because they’re passionate. Because they read up on it and go out there and do it.”
Boyce died suddenly on July 6 in his home after suffering a seizure in his sleep due to epilepsy.
Since his death, Boyce has been commemorated by a wide number of people, including his Descendants 3 costars and his parents.
In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, his parents, Victor and Libby, said he was the “rock” of their family and their “shooting star.”
“He was the very definition of human kindness, and a light that will forever shine as his spirit lives on in all who knew and loved him. He was the rock of our family and he always had a positive, heartwarming, insightful and caring outlook on everything and everyone,” they said. “The pain we have endured and are continuing to endure is indescribable, but we are making every effort to move forward and ensure that Cameron’s legacy and all that he stood for is honored.”
In tribute of the bright life he lived, his family has launched a charitable foundation in his honor, PEOPLE exclusively announced on Monday.
Titled the Cameron Boyce Foundation, the charity’s aim is to provide “young people artistic and creative outlets as alternatives to violence and negativity and uses resources and philanthropy for positive change in the world.”
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