Every student at Heritage has his or her own past. But for some of us, our past is what makes us who we are today, and no one knows better than Tyler Kelley, whose senior project is focused around attitude. For Tyler, attitude is what affects life the most, and to reverse the effects of his negative life experiences, he strives to maintain a positive attitude. “I could have been one of those kids that was always in depression and said ‘woe is me’ all the time. But I know that I wouldn’t have all the friends that I do now.”
The first twelve years of Tyler’s life were filled with negative experiences; “But it prepared me for life… If someone went through an abusive or neglectful situation, they would have a better perspective on how things are.” His attitude during those times was what kept him grounded in his own despair, until “I realized positive was the better way to go.” Currently, he is famous for performing comical and random accomplishments, from playing guitar with strangers in a coffee shop to singing Irish songs in A Capella. “I try to have a positive, happy attitude. Things could be worse and I should be happy with what I have.”
Because of his understanding of how attitude affected his own life, Tyler has committed his senior project to the effects of attitude on people. He visits classrooms as a guest speaker to present the psychological impacts of adapting positive and negative attitudes, including examples from his life story along with pre-recorded student and teacher interviews. Not only are his presentations informative, they give the audience a better understanding of just how powerful emotions can be. Some audiences have even felt faint during his description of the abuse he went through.
Tyler says that the best kind of attitude that a person should have is “A moderately positive one, where they can understand that bad could happen, but it’s not what they should focus on.” If people can realize how important attitude is, it can change their lives for the better. Changing his attitude from negative to positive made Tyler Kelley the person who he is today, and his triumph is in defying the odds by overcoming his past.
“…All the times people told me I couldn’t do something… I just had to say ‘You’re Wrong’.”
-Tyler Kelley (senior)