If you’ve ever met Kylie Porter from First Tee – Canton you would never know all that she has overcome. Kylie has been a fighter since the day she was born. As a newborn, Kylie was transported to the Akron Children’s Hospital NICU as a 4-pound twin. Her parents had a priest called to the hospital to give Kylie her last rights, as they were told she wouldn’t survive. And if by some miracle she was to survive, she would never walk and would experience cognitive delays.
Kylie beat the odds.
Despite the doctor’s diagnosis, she has become a remarkable, intelligent young lady who is grateful to play her favorite sport…golf. Kylie has been a part of First Tee – Canton for more than seven years, where she is known for her amazing smile, positive attitude and hard work. Her parents truly thought they would never see the day and credit First Tee for not only teaching Kylie how to play the game of golf but providing a space where she could develop her character and values such as honesty, respect and acceptance.
“First Tee is more than just learning how to golf. At First Tee – Canton, I learned how important core values are to use everywhere. Not just in the sport of golf, but also in utilizing the values to help guide me in my everyday life. My favorite value is perseverance. In order to pursue your goals in life, you have to persevere and work hard towards your goals.”
Kylie has certainly made her mark at First Tee – Canton.
In 2019, the chapter honored Kylie with their first ever “Bill Hayes Perseverance Award.” In an effort to honor Mr. Hayes, a former volunteer who continued to serve despite his health issues, the award was created to recognize participants that also persevere in life. They believed that Kylie was a perfect fit to receive the first award.
Kylie recognizes how blessed she is and shares her story to advocate for other kids dealing with challenges in their life. Now 14 years old, Kylie has been diagnosed with Stickler syndrome, which contributes to severe hearing loss. However, she doesn’t let this stop her. Kylie uses her platform as a means to motivate young people and encourage them to find confidence despite their hearing loss. She uses social media to spread this message and share her story. Because of her efforts, Kylie was recently honored as a HearStrong Champion through the HearStrong Foundation.
She wants to inspire kids and teens with hearing loss and one day be an audiologist to help others like herself.
Kylie, you inspire us to learn and grow from our challenges.
In this season of thankfulness, we are grateful for our donors and supporters who help lift up our mission so we can reach young people like Kylie. This holiday season, when you donate to a First Tee chapter, they’re eligible for matching dollars, up to $1 for every $2 you donate, thanks to a matching grant program from Charles R. Schwab. Find a chapter to donate today and join our mission to empower young people to build their strength of character through golf.