Staff Spotlight: Kylie receives Young Contributor Award

Small Towns

For her contributions to the betterment of West Point, Nebraska, through service in a variety of capacities—giving her time, talent, and resources to the community—Kylie Kai has received the 2023 West Point Chamber of Commerce Young Contributor Award.

The award was bestowed upon the Center for Rural Affairs senior communications associate as a surprise during the annual West Point Chamber of Commerce Partners in Progress Banquet on Feb. 19 in West Point.

“I was asked to be there at a certain time to take a photo for work, which is not uncommon,” said Kylie. “But I was completely shocked and caught off guard when they announced the award winner and I saw my family and friends come into the ballroom from the side door.”

One of Kylie’s biggest contributions to the community is the countless hours she’s spent helping West Point’s Guardian Angels Central Catholic High School (GACC) speech team.

“She forms the students in ways they may not even realize,” said Tina Biteghe Bi Ndong, executive director of the West Point Chamber of Commerce. “For the past five years, Kylie and her husband have opened their home to a weekly youth group. That time commitment spent pouring into our youth and our community is amazing and so selfless.”

Kylie also serves on the Franciscan Healthcare Patient Family Advisory Board, offering ideas on areas of improvement, as well as on the St. Joseph’s Retirement Foundation Board. For five years, Kylie was part of GACC’s JayFest Committee and took on various roles including helping raise money for the school, and she was also instrumental in putting their auction online.

“Kylie has used her creative skills to help promote some of West Point’s most treasured events and activities,” said Tina. “She has also helped highlight the ‘West Point way of life,’ alongside the Chamber, during professional recruitment efforts and community tours. She’s done all of this while having two small kids at home and another on the way.”

West Point community members shared sentiments about Kylie as well, saying, “She began giving back the minute she moved back to the West Point area,” followed by, “I think it’s just engrained in her DNA.” And, “She’s already left her mark on this place in so many ways. I can’t wait to see what else she’ll do.”

“I see young people stepping up and pouring into my community every day,” Kylie said. “My first glimpse into this award banquet was nearly 15 years ago when I served as one of two high school student representatives for the West Point Chamber of Commerce. It is truly an honor to be chosen for this award and be recognized by my community members.”