In April 1994, Ken Braid and Colleen Malany Braid founded The J. Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation. Its mission and purpose was born from the tragic death of their only son, Kyle, in February 1994. Kyle was a 16-year-old sophomore in high school, an outstanding athlete, and a leader. He was dedicated to putting a smile of peoples’ faces and laughter in their hearts. He was a young man with good values and high standards. His secret decision to take anabolic steroids led to his uncharacteristic impulsive mood swing where he took his own life. The ending of his life does not fit the story. The Braids decided that if a tragedy like this could happen to them, then many families were at risk.

With the J. Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation’s mission of “Helping Teens Take the Lead,” it identifies and selects young adults who exhibit leadership potential, have a strong sense of moral values, and possess the compassion necessary to improve their world. With guidance from positive role models and trained professionals, these teens will develop leadership skills that promote responsible decision-making, increase self-esteem, resist negative peer pressure, and encourage conflict resolution.

By reaching young leaders who return to their home communities with the ability to influence and inspire, the foundation can develop a network of positive peer groups to impact teen issues and lifestyles. This program is designed to prevent some of the problems associated with adolescence, help teens intervene effectively with troubled friends, and develop the ability to improve their school & community. It is the intent of the Foundation to empower teens to address the myriad of issues they face every day through education, experience, and support.

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