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!