Kyle Johnson had a profound impact on many people in his nineteen years, both in his hometown of North Attleboro, MA and across the two campuses of Keene State College and Bridgewater State University. To know Kyle was to know goodness. He was a special soul with a special heart, and he will always be remembered for his love of his family and friends, his passion for helping others, and his amazing sense of humor and contagious laugh.
To some people Kyle was the funniest friend they knew, and his infectious laugh and smile welcomed everyone in. He made friends laugh with his quick wit and humor, he knew how to turn the mundane into something hilarious and memorable, and his sense of humor and great laugh could make anyone’s day better.
The love Kyle had for making others happy drove everything he did. He had a deep devotion to the Special Needs Community in the southeastern Massachusetts area, and he made a very positive impact on their lives through his time spent volunteering for the Special Olympics, Best Pals, and Best Buddies organizations. He loved making people with disabilities feel included and important. Kyle’s excitement and passion for the Special Olympics was widely contagious, and his natural ability to connect with the athletes was an admirable characteristic to those who witnessed it. Posthumously, he is the namesake of the Kyle Johnson Community Inclusion Award for his compassion, dedication, and commitment to inclusion.
It was common for Kyle to greet friends and family with a big smile or hug, or in times of need he’d be there to lend a comforting ear or a thoughtful word to brighten someone’s day; always putting others around him before himself despite his own internal pain and struggles was Kyle’s basic instinct. Many people have noted Kyle’s positive impact on others; the way he made people feel was a gift.
Although his life was far too short, Kyle left a meaningful legacy of caring for others no matter how he was feeling. It is in Kyle’s memory, and in recognition of his legacy of caring, that the KyleCares Foundation strives each day to promote open and honest communication about mental health challenges experienced by teens and young adults, and to assist in providing them with resources and support needed to navigate life’s obstacles during their high school and college years.