“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ― Audre Lorde
Kyle is a graduate of Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, IL, with a degree in Economics and a certificate in LGBT Studies. Kyle is a seen as a leader amongst his peers and colleagues and is often recognized for his commitment to change and his focus to do better. Without a doubt, Kyle is sought out as a resource and a pillar of strength for those around him.
Kyle started his journey at a very young age when, in 2001, Kyle was placed into a children’s home in La Grange, Illinois due to severely abusive nature of his parents. From there, Kyle began to pick up the pieces to his life. For Kyle, this move allowed him to begin to realize his potential and marked his journey into what he often calls his mission.
Kyle is one of only 5 people in the United States who was awarded the Mental Karate Jigna Award. The Mental Karate program is based on addressing personal levels of growth and accomplishment through goal setting. Jigna is a word from Ethiopia/Eritrean culture that describes a legendary, heroic warrior who can never be defeated, appropriately encapsulating Kyle’s character and attitude on life.
Kyle has been recognized as the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s “Young Man of the Year” for his outstanding leadership ability and passion for the betterment of the community. Similarly, Kyle is a two-time recipient of the Cook County Sheriff’s Medal of Honor for his 100+ hours of community service each year.
Kyle continued his leadership and advocacy at NIU through a variety of opportunities. Kyle has served as an elected officer of Prism of Northern Illinois University – NIU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning student group – as Pride Letter editor, Vice President of Public Relations, and most notably as the President of Prism.
To honor his leadership, commitment and impact to the LGBTQ community at NIU, Kyle was awarded the Howard & Millie Eychaner Award. The Eychaner Award is the most prestigious awards given to LGBTQ student leaders at NIU. In addition to this, Kyle was also awarded the Margie M. Cook Leadership Award for his outstanding contributions and dedication to improving the lives of LGBT people both at NIU and abroad.
As an agent of change, Kyle regularly attends conferences such the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change conference, the Midwestern, Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Ally College Conference, Out for Work, and was invited to present at NIU’s Social Justice Conference: The Local, The Global, On Being Queer. In fact, Kyle has presented at many conferences on topics as they relate to the LGBT community. The topics of his presentations include HIV/AIDS stigma and history, centering Queer and Trans* People of Color in Higher Education, allyship, sexual violence, and more.
As a professional economist, Kyle focuses on the world economy with a special interest in monetary policy, the Federal Reserve, and consumer behavior. In addition to this, Kyle is interested in the ways underprivileged and oppressed groups of people interact with various economic systems. For this reason, Kyle wrote his undergraduate capstone paper on how income inequality affects economic growth, with a focus on both developed and developing countries.
Kyle’s past, present, and future are what motivate him. He lives by the tenet, “Despite all the setbacks and roadblocks I have faced, I know that what I do in my life shows who I am, no matter my background.” Kyle is often known for living his life by his favorite quote, “Veni, Vidi, Vici”, which translated to: “I came, I saw, I conquered.”