Malverne High School alumnus Kyle Richard was revered by the Malverne School District as this year’s Humanitarian Award recipient during the district’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. The program was pre-recorded this year and aired on Jan. 14 through the district’s YouTube channel, malverneschoolslive.com.
“Dr. Martin Luther King is somebody that I always would look up to,” Richard said. “I think I speak for the most of the Lakeview community and Malverne community that we really look up to him as a pivotal figure for racial inequality and civil rights. He’s someone we can model on treating people equally and fighting for equity.”
Richard graduated from Malverne High School in 2015. He is a sports activist, advocate and national speaker for positive masculinity. He has been nationally recognized for his efforts in preventing violence and has aspirations to help prevent sexual, domestic and gun violence. Richard has worked with Title IX departments, college athletic departments, high school athletic departments, sports teams, Greek life organizations, and several nonprofit organizations that focus on violence prevention.
A victim of gun violence, Richard and his friend, Michael Abiola, both survived a shooting after he helped to prevent an alleged rape attempt at a house party in Uniondale in 2017.
“It was a really difficult journey on getting back to the football field,” said Richard, a former team captain for SUNY Cortland. “But I could always remember coach [Kito] Lockwood,” Malverne High’s varsity football coach, “in my ear, ‘Kyle, you could always go harder.’ It’s just that Malverne blood and fuel that keeps us going both on and off the field. We can be powerful people in whatever we do.”
Richard, who was also a captain for the Malverne Mules football team, has grown to believe in using the power of sports to make positive social change. As a result, he is an honoree of the Institute for Sport & Social Justice and has received much recognition for his work, including being the recipient of the Vice President Biden Courage Award It’s On Us, and the Orange Bowl Courage Award. During his acceptance speech for the school district’s Humanitarian Award, Richard also spoke about the importance of taking care of your own mental and physical health. Once that is established, he said, people should aim to serve others.
“We have the ability to promote a culture of being there for others,” Richard said. “It’s not our job to question people in need or to nitpick. Our job is be there for somebody.”