Image: Jayla Moody
Moody Musings: “What Inspires You” with Kyle Bligen
One of the reasons I decided to tell stories, particularly those of others, is because I found that I was inspired by their journeys. I became a believer in examples and figured that if someone else can strive and do, then what’s stopping you and me?
In this column, I am starting a new series, “What Inspires You”, hoping that you’ll find inspiration in the stories of people you see every single day.
I started with Kyle Bligen, a senior Philosophy Politics and Economics major. Bligen is the President of The National Society of Leadership and Success, The President of the Residence Hall Association, the Captain of the Mercer Debate Team, a part of the Mercer Strategic Initiative and an avid intramural sports player.
I talked with Kyle not just about what he participates in on campus, but about where a lot of his free time is spent.
Jayla: “What do you do outside of Mercer? What’s your special project?”
Kyle: “Okay, one of the things I’m working on right now is incorporating a non-profit called the Bligen Family Foundation, and we work to mitigate fatherlessness in low-income communities through research oriented solutions through providing sustainable and reliable healthcare information, financial literacy training, access to free federal education on credit and connections to organizations like My Brother’s Keeper [and] Big Brother Big Sister,” he said.
His goal is to repair and bridge the gap in the American household. He’s also working at Mercer to fund a mentorship initiative called The Mercer Center for Sustainable Mentorship.
Jayla: “What prompted you to start this project, and when did you start?”
Kyle: “To be honest, I always knew that I was a fortunate and blessed individual because I came from a two-parent household.”
“The summer before I started school, my father passed away unexpectedly and I recognized not only the gap that immediately was left in my life, but also the place of purpose that my father filled in my life, both functionally and symbolically,” Bligen said. “I wanted to create an institution that would help regain that through community support and research-based initiatives.”
Jayla: “What are your plans after Mercer?”
Kyle: “It changes everyday. The September 5, 8:05 p.m. Kyle would say that I will stay in Macon for a little bit longer to insure that this mentorship thing becomes successful and children’s lives are impacted, so that I have actual proof that children through this process are being blessed and impacted so it can expand nationwide.”
Eventually, Bligen wants to become an entrepreneur and a politician.
Jayla: “What inspires you?”
Kyle: “Outside of my faith, I think need inspires me. Whenever there’s a need in the world, there’s always a person with a purpose that has the means to meet a need. Whenever I see a gap that needs to be bridged, I always get inspired knowing that there’s somebody else in the world that has the means and resources to fill the gap and become the bridge,” Bligen said.
“I’m inspired knowing that I have a purpose to use my resources to fill the gap for somebody else.”
Bligen’s biggest piece of advice? Find your passion first.
“Whether your call is poverty alleviation, flying in the air force or becoming a great mathematician, know what your purpose is,” he said. “From that self realization, you can then know who you are, the population that you’re meant to help, and then you can start identifying the resources and people that can help you.”
Bligen couldn’t come up with an individual that inspires him, but he said that it’s not always that easy.
“I think there are people I definitely go to for wisdom, but I don’t think I go to a person or a certain source for inspiration,” he said.
If you are lacking inspiration and can’t seem to find it in those people you’ve always ran to or at that place that has never failed you, look within yourself. Recall what has always consumed your thoughts. Think about that one problem that may have bothered you so much. Think about what scares you.
“Need doesn’t scare me,” Bligen said. “It inspires me.”