JANUARY 15, 2018
Jeffrey Kennedy was honored Jan. 4 by the by the state, receiving the Commonwealth of Kentucky Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission Adult Leadership Award.
Kennedy was recognized for mentoring more than 1,200 youth and volunteering more than 2,000 hours in 2017.
Kennedy, along with his wife, Lynnette, operate a nonprofit called You Cannot Be What You Cannot See, a youth motivational program.
“First of all, it was overwhelming, but then I realized that now I really have to go out there and make a difference,” Kennedy said.
The youth program he has organized for four years teaches teens self-care, self-motivation and how to add value to themselves, their family, community, school and anything they touch, he said.
Receiving the award is confirmation he’s on the right track to help families, schools and communities, but there’s more to do, he said.
Kennedy’s goal this year is to reach 10,000 children.
This year, he will continue working in schools in Hardin County and will branch out to conferences at the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library, Scottsville Parks and Recreation Department, Bluegrass Challenge Academy, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and juvenile detention centers in Lexington and Louisvill.
The goal is to help young people become good citizens, he said.
To receive an award named for Martin Luther King Jr. is a great honor for Kennedy.
“It is probably the most amazing recognition I’ve ever had that’s associated with adding value to people,” he said.
King, he said, influenced and worked with people from the east to west, north to south and all over the world. King helped those from all over the country from all walks of life. That’s the same intent Kennedy, and others who work with You Cannot Be What You Cannot See, have in working with teens.
“I’m trying my best to do and to emulate adding value to people’s lives,” Kennedy said.
He said he will strive to continue making a difference in the lives of teens to honor the award he has received.
Kennedy wants the award to not just be something in a frame on the wall, but to be something he can honor in his life and actions.