DURHAM: Durham student excels in school while caring for mom - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Durham student excels in school while caring for mom

Posted: Updated:
Kayla Kinard's mother was hospitalized on her prom night, but her mother still pushed her to go to the dance. Kayla Kinard's mother was hospitalized on her prom night, but her mother still pushed her to go to the dance.
DURHAM, N.C. -

Six students received GlaxoSmithKline scholarships Tuesday, which go to people who have overcome adversity. Here is the story of one:

If you could see behind the glammed-up smile Kayla Kinard carried on prom night, you'd see the worry she carried with her then.

"It seemed like it was just sitting on my shoulders," she said.

The picture was snapped in a hospital where her mother was taken that day after her heart stopped and Kayla had to perform CPR -- all before her prom.

"I didn't want to go, but she kept telling me, 'Go,' " Kayla recalled.

Kayla, 19, is used to being pushed, but she's usually the one doing the pushing.

As a senior, she worked two jobs, served as senior class president and paid the household bills -- all while taking care of her mother, who struggles with a heart disease associated with Kayla's birth.

"Everything kept tumbling down. It was like her heart was deteriorating so fast my senior year. It's like, this is the time i need you most," Kayla said.

"I would just look at her and think there was no way that I could ever do that," said Tesca Kinard. "But she did. She was so motivated and so energetic to the point that it was like she was unstoppable."

Even when she missed so much school that she nearly had to go to court, Kayla managed to rise to second in her class at Southern High School.

"With me not going to school and missing days, kind of like, 'OK, I still have standards to uphold. I have people looking up to me,' " Kayla Kinard said. "Even when I wanted to quit, I couldn't because I had others looking up to me and I couldn't let them down."

Kayla gave two speeches at her graduation while her mother sat in a hospital, recovering from her heart transplant and watching on Skype. Tesca Kinard tears up even now when she talks about how her daughter was determined for her to hear the speech.

"At the end of my second speech," Kayla said, "I said, 'Mommy, I love you.' "

Kayla Kinard is now about to enter her second year at UNC Charlotte, where she is studying biology. And she is receiving recognition -- and a boost

GlaxoSmithKline's opportunity scholarship will give her nearly $9,000 to pay for two years of school.

"This scholarship, it takes a great load off of me," Kinard said. "I won't have to worry about paying back as much anyway. But, it means so much."

"She deserves it after everything that she's been through within the last year," Tesca Kinard said.

It will help pay for her education -- but she has already learned something far more important.

"Just love one another because you never really know what tomorrow holds," Kayla said.

It's a message straight from one heart to another.

"The relationship that she and I have, it's just, words can't even explain," her mother said.

Kayla has been inspired by the people who helped her mother and hopes to go into the medical field.

The scholarship she received Tuesday will go a long way in helping her achieve that.

The scholarship was established in 1988 through a GSK endowment that is currently valued at more than $1 million.

Recipients receive up to $20,000 for tuition, books and other educational expenses.

"I'm feeling really thankful today," Kayla Kinard said. "It's like a natural happiness that's coming."

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

  • Trending StoriesMore>>

  • Letter found with body of App State student, police say

    Letter found with body of App State student, police say

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:16:12 GMT
    The body of Anna Smith was discovered in a heavily wooded area in Boone.The body of Anna Smith was discovered in a heavily wooded area in Boone.
    The Boone Police Department said a letter was discovered with the body of an Appalachian State University student, indicating her death may have been a suicide.
    The Boone Police Department said a letter was discovered with the body of an Appalachian State University student, indicating her death may have been a suicide.
  • 'Party mansion' owner convicted of tax and healthcare fraud

    'Party mansion' owner convicted of tax and healthcare fraud

    Friday, September 12 2014 12:38 PM EDT2014-09-12 16:38:35 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A former Raleigh resident, known for the wild parties held at his “party mansion” in North Raleigh, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for tax fraud, healthcare fraud and money laundering crimes, according to a United States Department of Justice release.
    A former Raleigh resident, known for the wild parties held at his “party mansion” in North Raleigh, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for tax fraud, healthcare fraud and money laundering crimes, according to a United States Department of Justice release.
  • 3 Panther Creek students injured in Cary crash identified

    3 Panther Creek students injured in Cary crash identified

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:02 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:02:29 GMT
    Three students from Panther Creek High School were injured Tuesday in an accident involving a SUV and a dump truck.
    Three students from Panther Creek High School were injured Tuesday in an accident involving a SUV and a dump truck.
  • Trending Stories on WNCN.com

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • 3 Panther Creek students injured in Cary crash identified

    3 Panther Creek students injured in Cary crash identified

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:02 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:02:29 GMT
    Three students from Panther Creek High School were injured Tuesday in an accident involving a SUV and a dump truck.
    Three students from Panther Creek High School were injured Tuesday in an accident involving a SUV and a dump truck.
  • Raleigh Police release sketch of peeping Tom

    Raleigh Police release sketch of peeping Tom

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:44 PM EDT2014-09-16 17:44:26 GMT
    A woman reported a man trying to look in her window on Brimwater Drive Aug. 10.
    A woman reported a man trying to look in her window on Brimwater Drive Aug. 10.
  • N. Raleigh neighborhood hopes to nix Publix

    N. Raleigh neighborhood hopes to nix Publix

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:35 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:35:45 GMT
    People living nearby argue that the proposed shopping center does not fit the current zoning code. They feel large supermarkets and superstores have no place in that type of neighborhood.People living nearby argue that the proposed shopping center does not fit the current zoning code. They feel large supermarkets and superstores have no place in that type of neighborhood.
    The future of a North Raleigh Publix is the focal point in a larger debate about the city's zoning code and how it should be applied.
    The future of a North Raleigh Publix is the focal point in a larger debate about the city's zoning code and how it should be applied.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • High Level LSD Distributor Arrested in Madison County

    High Level LSD Distributor Arrested in Madison County

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:23 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:23:08 GMT
    Kaleb ChhabraKaleb Chhabra
    MADISON COUNTY, Miss. - Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker says they have made an arrest of a high level distributor of Synthetic LSD between Madison, Starkville and Mississippi State University. 
    MADISON COUNTY, Miss. - Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker says they have made an arrest of a high level distributor of Synthetic LSD between Madison, Starkville and Mississippi State University. 
  • 16-year-old girl stabs another 65 times after nude photos posted on Facebook

    16-year-old girl stabs another 65 times after nude photos posted on Facebook

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 3:29 PM EDT2014-04-02 19:29:36 GMT
    A 16-year-old girl is accused of fatally stabbing her teen ‘best friend' in an attack spurred by nude photos of the pair together posted on social media, according to several media sources.  Anel Baez,
    A 16-year-old girl is accused of fatally stabbing her teen ‘best friend' in an attack spurred by nude photos of the pair together posted on social media, according to several media sources.  Anel Baez,
  • September Is National Recovery Month

    September Is National Recovery Month

    Monday, September 15 2014 8:11 PM EDT2014-09-16 00:11:16 GMT
    HATTIESBURG, Miss. - September is National Recovery Month. It's a month that brings awareness to and honors those who have overcome substance abuse. "Most people are just really unaware of their addiction. Most people are in denial about it," said Isaac Boose, Director of Pine Grove's Next Step Center.Next Step it a 12 step program that aids men into chemical dependent recovery, and is a top program in the country, according to Boose."We confront all of the things that they are afraid of, and...
    HATTIESBURG, Miss. - September is National Recovery Month. It's a month that brings awareness to and honors those who have overcome substance abuse. "Most people are just really unaware of their addiction. Most people are in denial about it," said Isaac Boose, Director of Pine Grove's Next Step Center.Next Step it a 12 step program that aids men into chemical dependent recovery, and is a top program in the country, according to Boose."We confront all of the things that they are afraid of, and...
Powered by WorldNow

5912 Hwy. 49, Ste. A
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Telephone: 601.545.2077
Fax: 601.545.3589
Email: newsroom@whlt.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.