Leadership Rooted in JKB
Although 2014 marks the inaugural year of the JKB Experiential Education Foundation, the organization is rooted in The J. Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation, a program that has already positively influenced thousands of young adults, providing each student with a week of training that prepared them for a lifetime of leadership.
After witnessing firsthand the effects of the everyday pressures that many high school students face, Colleen Malany saw a need for a program that would provide young adults the necessary tools to not only develop good judgment in their own lives, but to become leaders, positively influencing those around them.
The JKB Experiential Education Foundation is founded in memory of Colleen’s son, Kyle Braid, who at 16 years old, took his own life as a result of taking anabolic steroids. A sophomore and one of few starters on the varsity football team at his high school, Kyle was told by a well-meaning coach to get bigger, stronger, and faster “no matter what it takes.” After several months of secretly using anabolic steroids, which can cause uncharacteristic aggressiveness, depression, and manic mood swings, Kyle, impulsively, took his own life. Kyle was dedicated to putting a smile on people’s faces and laughter in their hearts. An only child, Kyle was raised by loving parents who provided nothing but the best, reminding us that even good kids can sometimes make bad decisions.
Fast forward and Colleen, or “Mama C” as she is affectionately called by the legions of JKB alumni, is full-steam ahead – creating a new iteration of the program held dear to so many.
Boasting 20 years’ worth of alumni of The J. Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation serving as living examples, the newly launched JKB Experiential Education Foundation understands that empowerment for action occurs when one becomes aware of their own wisdom, insight, and responsibility for others.
The J. Kyle Braid Story
The JKB story is all about how a parent’s worse nightmare and tragedy was used to turn something unspeakably sad into something extremely useful. It’s about how one young man’s journey became instrumental in teaching leadership skills to tens of thousands of young people across the United States.