|Membership level: Hall of Fame|
Kenneth J. Braid
Inductee Year 2005
|Ken Braid is a 1969 graduate of Hinsdale Central High School.
Ken had an exceptional sports career while at HC and was captain of both the football and basketball teams. Ken went on to the University of Illinois, graduating in 1973. At Illinois, he was the captain of the football team and met his wife Colleen, a fellow student at Illinois.
Ken, Colleen and only son, Kyle, lived in southern Florida where Ken had a successful business career as an entrepreneur, with an emphasis on overseas manufacturing with factories in Malaysia, South Africa, and Mexico. Son Kyle was following in the footsteps of his successful and hardworking parents and was developing into a popular and athletically talented teenager. Unfortunately, the pressure to achieve athletically, not an uncommon issue for teenagers, caused Kyle to take performance-enhancing steroids. In a fit of steroid-induced rage, Kyle took his own life in 1994.
This personal tragedy caused Ken and Colleen to dedicate their lives to serving youth by founding and operating the J Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation Ranch in Villa Grove, Colorado as an ongoing memorial to their son. Nearly 1200 students have benefited from their time at the JK Braid Ranch, with intensive programs of teamwork, interaction, and self-discovery. These students then, in turn, return to their home schools and communities and help lead and guide their peers and serve as examples of student leaders. The JK Braid ranch program has expanded to include athletic coaches to improve communication skills for those coaching high school sports.
As part of the work of the Foundation, Ken travels the country conducting seminars on youth leadership. Ken and Colleen were awarded the Brevard County, Florida Citizens of the Year award for their work with teens from Florida.
Ken exemplifies the values and traditions of excellence at Hinsdale Central by imparting lifelong strategies and skills to teenagers.