Our past is now a memory, but our future is, and always will be, the kids.
Dreams are often times born from the trials of man's soul. It is only then, in the heat of battle and by the sweat of the human brow, that "can't go on" meets "can't quit now" and the dream is born.
Such was the case when tragedy bloomed forth the grief-stricken flower that became known as the J. Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation. The trial was the tragic death of Ken Braid's son Kyle. It has been said that man was created in the image of God and, I believe, rightly so, as the human spirit contains an element of immortal striving, when the enemy known as death, would provoke the human soul to live a dream - The JKB Foundation - for a fallen son. And out of Kyle's death came over 3,000 young men and women who picked up the gauntlet of leadership and challenged the status quo of indifference and pragmatism in some of America's best high schools.
The Ranch - A Respite for the Strong In Heart
The wild west is best known for its portrayal of rugged individuals taking on the elements to accomplish a cattle drive, or build the first rail road to cross the barriers of west to east. In the wild west, there is no quitting, no settling, indeed no living without people banding together for the common good. Such is the case in the design of the ranch that strikes young men and women high school athletes as they first lay eyes on the JKB Ranch. From the moment their feet hit the ground, be it 10,000 feet above sea level, to the moment they depart the ranch, these athletes are steeped in teaching, mentoring, competition, and role playing. It's not all work, as there's basketball, skeet shooting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and shooting the rapids to help everyone unwind. But, as much as they learn, and as hard as they play, the time quickly comes when they have to say goodbye to this wonderland and take their new-found skills and memories home.
A New Beginning
As surely as the J. Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation was, the day had to come when it was no more. And that day was the last day of summer 2014, when Ken hosted the final roundup at the ranch and the last high school departed. But where one dream ended, two more have risen. For Ken Braid, that dream is the birth of the Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation and Pathways to Leadership, an intensive seminar given to America's best high school coaches and staff. The goal is simple - to teach coaches how to best inspire today's head-of-the class high school athletes to become tomorrow's adult leaders and well-rounded citizens through high school athletic competition.