Freshman dreams: Kyle Stinson’s venture to make a difference

By Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – I sat down with Seaforth high school student, Kyle Stinson in the school gym to have a conversation about his involvement in student advocacy, sports, and community activities. We discussed his involvement with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) and the Student Advisory Council. We touched on his passion for advocating student voices and athletic initiatives. His dedication runs from representing high school athletes to fostering relationships between schools and the community.

Freshman Aspirations

Kyle’s venture into the realm of student advocacy began mid-freshman year, inspired by the potential to make a difference. The Christmas break provided the perfect moment for contemplation, and by sophomore year, Kyle was ready to seize the opportunity. Conversations with Coach Jason Amy, the completion of an application, and subsequent submission marked the initial steps towards becoming a representative for Region 5.

The process wasn’t without its challenges, as some applications faced rejection at the state level. However, Kyle’s perseverance paid off when, in April 2023, he attended a statewide leadership conference in Greensboro. Face-to-face interactions with key figures like Que Tucker, the NCHSAA commissioner, helped Kyle in ultimately securing his position in the State’s advisory council.

Role of the Student Advisory Council Member

As a member of the Student Advisory Council, Kyle outlined his role in advocating for athletes in Region Five, which includes Chatham County and surrounding areas. He highlighted the council’s efforts in connecting with counties, disseminating information about statewide initiatives, and promoting essential values like sportsmanship and responsible behavior. Dissemination of state-level initiatives, for example, includes covering topics from sportsmanship to critical issues like drinking and driving.

Behind the Mascot

Delving into his sports journey, Kyle disclosed his interest in tennis, a sport he picked up during the summer at Seaforth. Kyle is a member of the Seaforth tennis team. Our conversation took a somewhat lighthearted turn as the discussion moved from his mascot duties as Harper the Hawk to his experiences at basketball games, standing behind the scoreboard.

Kyle shared the motivations behind taking on the responsibilities for football and basketball seasons, offering a glimpse into the challenges and fun moments of being the spirited face behind the team mascot. Whether working with coaches, referees, or the student section, Kyle strives to help make the sporting experience not only competitive but also well-supported and organized.

Making a Difference: The Fulfillment of Advocacy

Reflecting on his involvement in the advisory council, Kyle expressed the most fulfilling aspect as sharing the student voice, especially during decisions like realignment. He discussed the emotional impact of supporting schools and athletes beyond his direct sports involvement, emphasizing the importance of understanding their perspectives.

National Student Advisory Council

Kyle’s journey transcended state borders as he became a part of the National Student Advisory Council. Qualifying through a summit in Indianapolis, Kyle now contributes to overseeing athletic events on a national scale. The focus shifts to Section 3, encompassing eight states, where Kyle collaborates with fellow members like Olivia Elder to establish connections and gather insights from diverse regions.

The Impact on Community

The ripple effect of Kyle’s involvement extends to the local community. His efforts to contact High School Athletic Associations within Section 3 aim to build bridges and foster collaboration. The exchange of ideas and experiences serves to enrich the sporting culture across states, creating a network of support and understanding. Kyle has not limited his advocacy to school sports, Kyle is also actively involved in local Special Olympics, overseeing logistics for events and supporting unified clubs.

Teaching and Leadership

Beyond sports and advisory roles, Kyle aspires to be an educator, returning to Chatham to teach. No confirmation as to whether Kyle is aiming for the athletic director position at Seaforth high school. His engagement in leadership programs at North Chatham Elementary showcases a commitment to shaping future leaders, emphasizing the importance of education as a tool for empowerment.

Future Perspectives: Flight to Mars and More

As the conversation was wrapping up, I asked Kyle to face the camera and send a message to himself in 2040. Kyle tells his 34-year-old self that he is appreciative of being surrounded by love and support, “I’d really say that you were loved, you were supported, and you were cared for.”

It was not a surprise to learn that Kyle’s parents are supportive of his activities as long as he makes smart decisions, emphasizing the importance of academics and self-care. I playfully inquired about Kyle’s willingness to embark on a flight to Mars, to which Stinson responded with enthusiasm, capturing his adventurous spirit.

I’m not sure his mom would be as enthusiastic about his decision.

In closing, the Chatham Journal recognizes Kyle Stinson’s dedication, advocacy, and leadership, underscoring the impact of student voices in shaping the landscape of high school sports in North Carolina.

You can watch my conversation with Kyle Stinson on YouTube

[00:15]( Kyle Stinson’s involvement in the North Carolina High School Advisory board and Student Advisory Council
– Kyle got involved in the advisory council through a selection process and attended a statewide leadership conference.
– The application process involved filling out an application and the council is not competitive within the region.

[02:25]( Advocating for athletes and connecting with counties
– Representing and sending initiatives to counties for sports and safety
– Taking on responsibilities for supporting student athletes and coaches at Seaforth

[04:41]( Involvement in tennis and the Student Advisory Council
– Started playing tennis because of interest and ended up representing the sport
– Most fulfilling part of the Student Advisory Council is sharing the student voice and supporting all schools

[06:52]( Student Advisory Council and Special Olympics involvement
– Advocating for better relationship between high school athletic association and NC general assembly
– Involvement with Special Olympics, including overseeing logistics for events

[09:23]( Kyle Stinson represents section three in the NFHS National Student Advisory Council
– Opportunities come naturally to Kyle due to his age and he’s eager to represent section 3 on the NFHS.
– He is passionate about academics, athletics, and community involvement, and is up for new challenges in the future.

[11:26]( Formation of Student Advisory Council and its objectives
– Identifying and contacting high schools across the states to gather student insight and experience
– Advocating for more student sections at high schools and promoting athlete achievements

[13:52]( Kyle Stinson’s involvement in student leadership programs and experiences with Governor Roy Cooper
– Kyle created leadership programs at North Chatham Elementary and applied to be a page for Governor Roy Cooper, focusing on education in North Carolina.
– He also participates in the North Carolina Association of Student Councils, attending a week-long camp to connect with other student leaders across the state.

[16:02]( Encouraging support for schools and students in North Carolina
– Expresses the privilege and enthusiasm of having opportunities to support other schools and states
– Emphasizes the desire to be there for schools, athletes, and students, offering support and care