I’m always thankful for the people who decide to read and comment on my posts found on this blog. To prove it, I decided to hold a “give-away” last weekend. As the total view count of my blog’s website drew closer to 2,500 all-time views, I decided to thank one lucky visitor in a big way. Based on the timing of a comment made on Facebook, I concluded that the (un)official 2,500th person to visit Kevin Wojo’s Blog was my friend, Kaylee Mazure. The prize? A blog post, no, a cover story about this visitor.
I met Kaylee last year as a fellow student at SVSU. She was a friend-of-a-friend, someone I didn’t see very often. I always thought of her as a kind person with a great sense of humor, but never really got to know a whole lot about her. This year, I have had the chance to interact with Kaylee a little bit more. As my friendship between her friends (the people who also happen to be my friends) and I strengthened, I’ve had more opportunities to get to know her. We’ve played board games, watched movies, and played soccer together with our group of friends within the last year. After informing her that she was the 2,500 viewer, I began to delve a little bit deeper into the world of Kaylee Mazure. Everyone has a story worth telling; what is Kaylee’s?
For starters, Kaylee is at SVSU to major in Biology, minoring in Chemistry and Health Science. Her aspirations for such a degree result from her desire to become a family care practitioner. “I think that a family care practitioner will be the position where I can help the most diverse clients. I can care for babies, teenagers, adults, and the elderly. It will always be mixed up and I think that will make sure it never gets boring.”
Kaylee grew up in Harbor Beach, Michigan; the same town as one of my roommates. While attending high school, Kaylee managed to rack up quite a few accomplishments. Among the most impressive feats was graduating as salutatorian of her class. “I was a bit surprised…The school used a point system that made my combined 3.89 and ACT score a better combo than say a 4.0 and a 27… But I won’t complain; I feel that I had a well-rounded education.” Kaylee continues to excel in her college classes, holding a respectable GPA in order to maintain her academic scholarships.
I mentioned earlier that I had the opportunity to play some soccer with Kaylee earlier in the year. I failed to mention that as a Senior in high school, Kaylee was recognized as an Honorable Mention State-Level Defensive Player in soccer. As great of a soccer player as she is, the medals and state-recognized honors didn’t come without some ruthless self-discipline. “I was once told I was never going to be a good soccer player because I was too slow, and I would never be able to overcome that.” Instead of taking the harsh criticism and giving up, Kaylee set out to prove that person wrong. “I changed my mindset to striving to be the best I could be.”
Her hard work paid off as she continued to rack up awards such as 1st Team All-Conference (4 times), 1st Team All-District (4 times), Scholar Athlete Award (4 times), as well as MVP. She was also known by other players and coaches as a “clean player”, hardly ever committing fouls as she played the game she loves.
The recognition as an exemplary soccer player and the title of salutatorian mean a lot to Kaylee, but that’s not enough for her.
When asked what she still wanted to accomplish before she died, Kaylee mentioned her desire to impact a stranger’s life in a significant and positive way. “A random day I had walked in to Cartridge World and the cashier asked me how I was doing. I replied with, ‘Oh you know. Just another day.’ He said something along the lines of ‘Oh I do know. Let me give you some advice. Follow your dreams. Do something with your degree. Do you think it was my dream to own Cartridge World? No. I got my degree from SVSU and did nothing with it. Don’t follow in my footsteps.’” Ever since, Kaylee has been inspired to challenge herself to be the best she can be. Along the way, she hopes to acquire the wisdom necessary to advise someone and make a positive impact in their life.
I would have never known what an interesting story my friend Kaylee held within her unless this opportunity had come up. I’m grateful for her participation in the post and for being the 2,500th “click”. This was not Kaylee’s whole story, merely an outsider’s perspective of pages in the book of the life that she is writing.
You’d be surprised at what kinds of stories people have. Kaylee was a friend-of-a-friend and just look at what kind of things I discovered about her. You don’t have to write a blog post about someone you hardly know in order to get to know them better; simply taking some time to listen to someone can teach you quite a bit about them. People generally enjoy sharing at least parts of their life story with others. Ask someone you barely know if they could share part of their story with you. At first, they may think you’re being a stalker by asking to hear their story. * But if you show that you care, you may be surprised at what kinds of things people will share with you. Not only will you make them feel important, but you may learn some valuable lessons in the process.
Now that you’ve “met” Kaylee, go meet someone else.
* (Disclaimer: I will not be held legally responsible for any lawsuits that involve “stalking” as a result of taking the advice given at the conclusion of this post. Use your best judgment in how you approach people to ask them about their story.)