Meadow, whose mother is Walker’s ex Rebecca Soteros, was only 15 at the time of her father’s death, but she’s already making strides in ensuring his passion for philanthropic efforts — and his love of the ocean — is remembered.
In September 2015, in honor of what would have been her father’s 42nd birthday, she announced the official launch of the Paul Walker Foundation, whose simple mission is to “do good.” The foundation provides grants and scholarships to students and researchers pursuing marine science educations or working in the field.
Walker was deeply involved with the Monterey Bay Aquarium from 2005 until his untimely death in 2013. In 2014, the Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Awards were created to recognize “individuals who are using their public stature to advance ocean causes and support philanthropic ventures.”
Singer Jack Johnson and supermodel Marisa Miller received the first awards in 2014. The following year, Katie Ridgeway, a teen conservationist and volunteer at the aquarium, received the Youth award, while pop singer Anjali World, the co-founder of the nonprofit Jaws & Paws, took home the Ocean Leadership Award.
“My dad was in awe of the ocean and wanted to see it protected,” Meadow told E! News when the Monterey Bay Aquarium presented the 2015 Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award and Youth Award. “It’s exciting to know scholarships and students like Katie will ensure the future of our oceans.”
Meadow made a rare public appearance in June to present Entourage star Adrian Grenier with the 2016 Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award on World Ocean Day. The actor was recognized for his work with The Lonely Whale foundation, whose mission is to bring people closer to the world’s oceans through education and awareness.
“I share Paul’s inquisitiveness for the mystery of the ocean and the great potential it holds for new discoveries that will enrich the lives and inspire the curiosities of the next several generations,” Grenier said, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, adding: “I also share Paul’s passion for ocean health and recognize that we have an opportunity to create real and lasting change that will benefit our marine environment and ultimately ourselves.”
In addition to helping run the Paul Walker Foundation, the teen is also involved in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the vehicle that Walker was riding, along with driver Roger Rodas, when both were killed.
The wrongful death lawsuit, filed against Porsche in 2015, alleged that Walker would still be alive if the company had installed proper safety features in the car.
Meadow’s lawyers assert that despite Porsche “knowing that the Carrera GT had a history of instability and control issues,” the company “failed to install its electronic stability control system,” which they say is “specifically designed to protect against the swerving actions inherent in hyper-sensitive vehicles of this type.”
Meadow was also awarded $10.1 million after a settlement with Rodas’ estate this past April, reportedly to be paid into a trust.
Meadow is also staying close to Walker’s acting family, his Fast and Furious costars, with whom he made seven movies (Walker died during filming of the seventh film in the franchise). In April 2015, the actor’s daughter shared a snap of herself on Instagram posing with Furious 7 stars Vin Diesel and Elsa Pataky.
“She’s really in a great space,” Tyrese Gibson told PEOPLE weeks before Meadow posted the shot. “She’s really focused on her education and just spending a lot of quality time with her friends. That brings her a lot of joy.”
In the summer of 2016, the Paul Walker Foundation teamed up with the Fast and Furious franchise to bring a lucky fan to the set of the newest movie.
Meadow took to Instagram to encourage fans to enter the contest with a sweet photo of her younger self smiling as she hangs with her dad in a swimming pool.
She wrote, “Feeling so honored to combine two of my dad’s legacies into one incredible experience.”