The first thing Kylan said when we got home from Africa was, “this changed me, Mom, I know it changed me.” After we had this amazing experience, we wanted to find ways to give back and to make sure this wasn’t just an experience for Kylan but one that could be shared. Kylan felt that if he could share his story then maybe he could inspire others to make a difference. He began by telling kids at his school about his trip and found himself being asked to speak at other schools and other groups. By sharing his story along with the values we have raised him to follow, he hopes to inspire other Difference Makers. Those values became the mantra for his work, they are:
Life isn’t about keeping score.
It’s not about how many friends you have. It isn’t about who your family is, or what kind of car you drive, or where you go to school.
It’s not about how you look, or what clothes you wear, or what kind of music you listen to.
It’s not about if you hair is blonde, or if your skin is too light or too dark.
It’s not about what grades you get, how smart you are, how smart everyone else thinks you are, or how smart the tests say you are.
Life is about who you love and who you hurt, it’s about who you make happy or unhappy, it’s about keeping or losing trust.
It’s about friendship.
It’s about what you say and what you mean.
It’s about the person you are right now and the person you have the potential to become.
Most of all, it’s about using your life to touch other people’s hearts.
My proudest moment has been watching my son throughout this experience. I see him stand up in front of kids and adults and watch the spark that is in him spread to others. I hear kids talk about who in their lives they are going to impact. I have parents ask me how to get their kids to become Difference Makers. I watched Kylan sit in the front of our van, during our travels around Africa, for four hours wave to kids in the villages we passed. He would be surrounded by kids in each village we went through; they would touch his hair and skin. He would teach little kids how to give high-fives and play Frisbee. I really think it is him who has changed me. Kylan is changing the world in ways I never imagined.
If you want Kylan to share his story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your idea and we will try to help.