Courtesy of Mary Beth North
Kyle North is not your average 8th grader.
Along with being hard of hearing and close to being deaf, Kyle, 14, jumps at any opportunity to share the gospel — including dressing up as a missionary on character dress-up days at school.
He recently made a video presentation on Mormon migration for his National History Day project, complete with pictures and a narration, all on his own.
Kyle’s video placed first in Milwee Middle School’s 2014 School NHD Fair and has received more than 3,200 views on YouTube. His was the only individual documentary to win from his school, he said in email correspondence with the Church News.
He decided to do his project on Mormon migration because he wants to share as much as he can about the Church every chance he gets, he said.
“Not many LDS are in my school and this gave me a way to share something else about me others may not know yet,” Kyle said.
Kyle said being deaf makes it hard to keep up with friends, yet he knows missionary work is important, which is why sharing the gospel is so important to him.
“This is my way to share with others what I believe in and how I live my life,” Kyle said. “I wanted to clear up facts that may be misunderstood about my religion and knew that I could reach a bigger audience. I am a bit shy sometimes and this was a way to help break the ice and tell others what a great Church I belong to.”
His favorite parts about making the video were using his computer and video program to compose the different parts.
“It was hard synchronizing everything just right with timing and asking others to listen to it that have better hearing to know if my music was too loud, or my talking was loud enough,” Kyle said. “I had to redo the script a few times for mispronunciation of words. I actually enjoyed that challenge and it felt great when it was all put together at the very end.”
Mary Beth North, Kyle’s mother, said in an email with the Church News that he was born with the ability to hear but started losing it at the age of 5. All members of his family are deaf, Sister North said, including his 9-year-old sister, Brooke, herself and her husband, Chad. She said she and her husband both lost their hearing for unknown reasons at the age of 3.
Kyle uses hearing aids and an FM radio unit while at school instead of an interpreter, Sister North said. According to the Cora Barclay Centre, FM units or “systems” use radio waves to transmit sounds to the listener from the speaker’s microphone. Kyle also knows American Sign Language as a second language, he said.
“He jumps at every task presented to him, or he finds more ways to share it [the gospel],” Sister North said. “I have learned from watching him, it doesn’t really matter what others think — be who you really are. When you do that, people will respect you and love you more. People will listen when you are yourself. Kyle has proven this time and time again.”
Kyle received a medal and a certificate for his winning video. He was then able to present his project in a personal interview, advancing to the county history fair. Sister North said he dressed up in a full suit and jacket, just like a missionary, to present to the county judges and received a report from his judges that gave him four superior ratings in his Documentary Evaluation/Competition.
Kyle’s video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGXUC_3rzsE.
Kyle and his family are members of the Oviedo Ward, Orlando Florida stake.