Kylie Cone - Texas Interview by Olivia Bush Nomination and Photography by One Eye Shutterfly Photography Issue 36 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Kylie Cone has decided to serve this country in the U.S. Army "Army Strong". She has a bright future and an outstanding amount of strength, mentally and physically. She is an inspiration to many and now a protector to all. Kylie, I am so proud of you. I'm an Administrator at a K-8th Charter School in AZ that Kylie attended when she was younger. I have had the honor of watching Kylie over several years grow into this beautiful young woman. She has been through hard times with family, school, friends, and overall self-growth; and let me tell you she has grown and blossomed into this amazing, confident, kindhearted person you see in this photo.
Photography by One Eye Shutterfly Photography
Why did you make the amazing decision to join the Army? I was told that I wouldn't be joining the military and wasn't ever given an explanation as to why, so I decided to show that person that I can, and I did! Besides that, I have always dreamed of one day becoming a soldier serving our great nation. I have seen just how the uniform can transform a woman who might otherwise be shy or timid into a fierce powerful woman!
Who/what motivates and inspires you every day to make the decisions you have made? My Family! My Friends! The impact I have on my younger siblings. My Dad would always tell me that "they look up to you, you need to show them the right way". Also showing the girls that otherwise may think they can't, that they can!
What is the recruitment process like for the Army? What has it been like for you? The recruitment process is easy. Just pick the branch that you like the best and talk to a recruiter. The recruiters will guide you through step by step. The test can be difficult if you're not a test savvy person. The test was difficult for me since I had little time to study between work and school. If I could do it over again, I'd try harder by junior year on the asvab and try to get into basic training during the summer of my junior/senior year.
Photography by Cassie Cone
What advice do you have for other teenagers who want to join the Army? If you have any aspirations of being in the military, don't second guess them. I did, but thankfully my Dad and stepmom kept reminding me that "this is your dream, and if you don't chase it, you'll never forgive yourself". I am so glad that I stuck with it and can now say that I am living at least part of my dream.
What other goals do you have for your future in the Army and outside of it? I want to be in the medical field. By joining the Army, I will be eligible for a GI Bill for school. Once I get out of the army, I will study for my RN degree.
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever accomplished, and how did you do it? Telling my parents that I am lesbian. It was a very tough thing to do. It was extremely uncomfortable, but I didn't want to keep it from them anymore. I sat them down and talked to them. Deep down I knew that no matter what, they'd accept me for who I am, but I was still terrified. They were understanding and my dad said he really didn't mind because "you're not allowed to date until you're 30 anyhow".
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? Follow your dreams and don't let that stepdad step on your dreams. My Dad always reminds me that I'm the only one that can determine my outcome. Don't let the little things or little people get in your way!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans for the future? In 5 years I would have served my active 4 year term in the military, I then plan to go to school to be one an RN or equivalent.
Nomination and Photography by Jerry Cone
What is your favorite activity or pastime that wasn’t in your nomination? Swimming and other high school sports and of course anything to do with having friends around.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? Yes.. Singing. Maybe someday I'll let the world hear my voice but I'm still practicing alone when no one's around or when I’m in the shower!
How do you keep yourself organized with everything you have on your plate? I just try to relax and take it one day at a time. I try to not overload myself too much. 3 Things on your bucket list Meet Ariana Grande Travel the world Actually be able to ride all the rides at a Disney park in one day...
Who do you find inspiring? My Dad
What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? I inspire people to Love one another. To be faithful friends. To be kindhearted. To be humble. To be who you are. I live these values daily and try surrounding myself with others that are the same.
Anything else you’d like to tell us? I wouldn't be where I'm at today if it wasn't for the love and support of my Family. I have had a rough childhood being subjected to some harsh environments surrounding my mother's side. Fortunately, my Dad fought and fought and never gave up, he's truly showed me the spirit of a fighter.
Kylie will be featured in issue 36 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!
The Nomination: - "I’d like to officially nominate Abigail Roby for the IT Girl of the day at Inspiring Teens Magazine. Abby is a pillar of my senior rep program and is always the first to volunteer for any event we have whether it’s from being in shoots, helping with the shoots, or helping with community activity. Abby was named Cadet Commander in her JROTC program and holds multiple records for PT training. She’s attended leadership events and puts her all into her program. She’s been recognized for her outstanding community service which is something that she is the proudest of. Abby has faced adversity in a male dominated program. She has been bullied and teased yet she has remained steady in her beliefs and has been an exemplary example of what a young leader should be. I fully believe that Abby has a very promising future ahead of her and I am so proud of everything she’s accomplished." Nominated by Samantha Tooley
Settled on the famous Ohio River, in a shallow curve on the edge of Kentucky, is Daviess County. A relatively quiet county that houses a powerful young lady; Abby Roby. She is an inspiration to many for her perseverance, strength and stunning accomplishments.
Five years ago, chance changed her life. In eighth grade, she walked out of the first day of volleyball tryouts only to be approached by Commander White, the senior navalist instructor of the ROTC program who had known her older brother. ROTC focuses on instilling the value of citizenship, service to one's country and personal responsibility in students. Abby was eager to join the coming fall and, though she didn’t know it at the time, begin the journey of finding herself.
It wasn’t long before Abby found herself learning lessons that she'd keep with her for years to come. After earning awards at both the local and national levels, she attended National Junior ROTC leadership training. It was here that her senior chief would tell her to "worry about the thing you can control and if you can't control them then don't worry about them". It was a statement that would help her through the hardest years that were still to come.
As a sophomore, she was bullied by many people, including her brother. The hard times took a toll and her grades dropped, she quit volleyball and began to lose herself in the work she did as the JROTC community service officer working in the community beyond her high school. The joy on people faces when she brought in 10,000 donations to local shelters kept her busy and gave her experiences that would earn her an award. She relied on her own strength and the support of her senior chief and friend, Michael Gatrost, to bounce back. She was able to work hard and rise above her competition to become her county's first female cadet commander, an honor she values as her greatest accomplishment. She's learned how to take charge and communicate properly with other. As a recent high school graduate, she plans to enlist in the Navy this August and continue to serve her country. And for all of us, she can remain a figure of great inspiration and strength.