Tom and Maria announced a Fulton Homes Be KOOL Stay In School qualifier last Friday. Congratulations to Kyle Shahenian!
Kyle is a 7th grade student at Imagine Prep in Surprise, AZ. He has always been an energetic, smart, confident, complex thinking person since the day he was born. He always has to know “how things work” and how he can make things more efficient.
He began to have difficulties with bullying when he was in 6th grade. He was teased and taunted daily at his last school. The kids would make fun of him, shove him, damage his personal belongings, and basically make his life miserable. His grades started to plummet, and he had very few friends at school. Every time he would react or stand up for himself, he would end up being the one who got in trouble.
In November 2009, Kyle, who had shown an interest in competitive swimming, joined the year round Westside Silver Fins Swim Team. He began training 5 days a week, 1 1/2 hours a day to improve his skills and times.
Being around other kids with the same interest, he began to make several new friends, however, when he would talk about swimming with kids at his school, the taunting continued. When he would speak of his accomplishments at a meet, some of the other kids would say things like, “Swimming isn’t a real sport” or “Swimming is for losers”. Despite the teasing, Kyle continued with swimming and his times began to improve.
7th grade started out a little better, but it was not long before the bullies were at it again. Frustrated, my husband and I decided that Kyle needed a fresh start at a new school so we transferred him to Imagine Prep. That turned out to be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made for him. He is excelling academically, has a bunch of new friends, restored confidence, and once again has a positive outlook on his life in general.
His swimming training continues and he is set to compete at the Regional Championships next month, and the State Championships in March. He has the goal of a college scholarship for swimming and wants to work as hard as he can to meet that goal. He will also compete in his first Triathlon on Thanksgiving Day.