Allen, the first student from Cordova to attend AGS since the program began in 1987, confesses to being slightly nervous.
“Everyone there was just as intelligent as I was, if not more. I actually felt a little out of place because there were so many other people there with so much ability and so much talent,” he said.
During the closing session on June 27, no one was more caught off guard than Allen when his name was called as the Most Outstanding Male Student.
“I was blessed to get it. The Lord God gave me the opportunity to, and I’m glad that He did, but there were so many there who were deserving of it as well,” Allen said.
Allen and Nikki Sullivan of Briarwood Christian School were selected by their professors and peers as the top two of the largest class in the program’s history.
CHS Principal Kathy Vintson was thrilled but not surprised when she learned of the recognition.
She describes Allen as a student who has taken the message of the school’s IHOPE (I Have the Opportunity and Potential to Excel) initiative to heart.
“One of the things that I love so much about Kyle is that he is looking for opportunity,” Vintson said. “I am trying to get the students to see that they belong anywhere, and they shouldn’t hold back academically because they don’t feel like they belong or they’re afraid. Kyle will take those risks, and he is a great example of what can happen.”
CHS counselor Stephen Spivy recommended Allen for AGS, a two-week honors program for rising high school seniors.
Participants receive college level experience in academic subjects, creative activities and leadership opportunities. They also participate in service projects and take field trips.
In the classroom, they choose from 16 course topics to study in morning and afternoon sessions.
Allen enrolled in business courses. His education included trips to Golden Flake Snack Foods, Whole Foods Market, Daxko and a Birmingham-area hospital.
“We were supposed to see it through the eyes of the people running a business instead of just as a consumer,” Allen said.
Because of his experience at AGS, Allen is now considering a career in business.