The Story Behind Kile's Beautiful Minds Gala

By Evan Edwards & Katherine Diaz Villegas | November 12, 2019 | People

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From an untimely tragedy to an incredible cause, Kile’s Beautiful Mind Foundation helps support the underserved youth who are artistically inclined or have entrepreneurship already on their young minds. Inspiration to start the foundation came from Ryan Glover’s son, Kile, who passed away in 2012 in a tragic boating accident. Initially, the organization focused on boat safety regulations and helping kids who suffered from traumatic brain injuries, but in 2018, the Glovers shifted the focus of the organization to celebrating Kile’s life instead of mourning his death. The foundation’s premier event, Kile’s Beautiful Minds Gala, celebrates Kile’s life through performances while raising funds for grants, Camp XI and more. Here, The Atlantan speaks with founder and father Ryan Glover ahead of the gala happening Nov. 23.

Why did you decide to start Kile’s Beautiful Mind Foundation?

I’m part of an unfortunate fraternity of parents who have lost their children. Kile passed in a boating accident at Lake Lanier during the summer of 2012. We originally started the foundation to continue his legacy.

Our first mission revolved around water safety and programs for children who basically suffered traumatic brain injuries. But, it focused on how he passed away, so although we were doing great things in that arena, [like pass the Senate Bill 136, The Kile Glover Boat Education Law] my soul, still, was terribly depressed.

In 2018, we recalibrated our direction and made our focus around how he lived. We, the Glovers, are a sports family—we eat, drink, sleep sports. But Kile hated sports. He was definitely my special child. Kile was an avid lover of the arts and entrepreneurship, so the mission now is to support underserved youth who have an unwavering passion for arts and entrepreneurship. My hope and vision is that one day every child will be able to pursue their personal passions without fear or limitations.

Tell us more about the foundation’s programming, such as Camp XI.

It’s a three-week day camp that was held in June of this year at the Joseph B. Whitehead Boys & Girls Club, which happens to be one of our sponsors. We call it Camp XI; XI in Roman numerals for 11 represents the age at which Kile passed, so that’s where we got the name from.

In my day job, I am a board member (the chairman) of the Bounce Advisory Board, an African American broadcast network called Bounce TV. We broadcast our content over about a hundred million households across the country. I’m in the media space, so I thought what better way to kick off our camp than to show kids kind of what I know in that space.

We spent three weeks teaching 13 kids the art of storytelling. I brought in individuals like Will Packer, Eric Tomosunas of Swirl Films, and we brought in different writers, producers, speakers and graphic artists. Our kids put together their very first short film, which I am extremely proud of. We had professionals in the industry teach them on a daily basis exactly how to tell a story, how to film and edit content, then debuted the short films the last day of camp for their parents.

Who are you hoping to support through the organization?

My arms are too short to fight with God. I know Kile can’t come back to Earth, but what I can do is support kids who have the same drive, goals, ambitions and dreams that he had. And support other kids who have the same spirit as Kile. And those kids, candidly speaking, in the urban communities often go overlooked—everybody wants to be Lebron James, everybody wants to be Usher. But there may be one Lebron James in a lifetime and one suedo Usher in a lifetime, and the other kids who are passionate about arts don’t have the same chances to exploit their talents in a good way. And I want to find those kids and help them exploit those talents.

We are celebrating Kile’s legacy and we’re transferring all of that beautiful energy into kids who are like Kile, who are passionate about the arts and entrepreneurship. This is not about how Kile passed. We’re going to celebrate how he lived and help other kids reach their maximum potential.

What can attendees expect from the gala Nov. 23?

You’ll have the best of the best in Atlanta coming together in support of uplifting kids who are passionate about arts and entrepreneurship. You’ll see great performances from individuals and our sponsors, like Dance 411 and Alliance Theatre. Trust me when I tell you this: We’re going to have a killer live and silent auction, and just a ton of fun.

You seem to have a clear objective in mind.

My overarching goal is to marry corporate America, community and culture all together.

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Photography by: Courtesy of Marsha and Ryan Glover