Vanderbilt soccer player turns struggle into success

Local News

Vanderbilt women’s soccer player Kaylann Boyd is different.

Her words, not mine. 

For some reason, being different is often seen as a negative. Kaylann is making sure that kids who are different like her don’t see it that way.

“I did not fit the norm, I was definitely outside of the box,” said Kaylann Boyd.

Life seems completely normal for Boyd, but things aren’t always as they seem.

“I grew up a little differently than most, and also my older brother did as well so we are both dyslexic and have ADHD so we were very hyper children,” said Boyd. “So my struggles were reading specifically. Reading and writing. I’ve actually learned how to cope with that very well. it takes me a little longer than most.”

“Yes, it was harder for me academic-wise. I just kind of didn’t want anyone else to go through that feeling of feeling like you’re dumb because you’re different,” she said.

Something that made her feel “normal” was sports. So she turned what was once a way to calm her hyperactivity into a soccer scholarship at a top university. 

“Being in a college sport and being in sports growing up definitely taught me so many things that I am able to use in and out of school and stuff like that just to persevere and be determined and get through things.” 

She picked Vanderbilt with a goal in mind. She’s studying psychology to help kids like her.

“My mission now is just to become somebody that gives those kids hope that they can read, they can sit down they can focus, they can do this,” she said.

The best proof of that is Kaylann herself. Once told she may never learn to read, then accepted at one of the best Universities in the country. On the athletic front, this year she can call herself a 2018 SEC regular season champ. 

“I’m your hope. I can vouch for you. I’ve done this, I’ve been through there and your kid is not dumb, he’s just different or she is different, so there’s nothing wrong with being different it’s just different.”

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