How to be a nerd without being a jerk
A woman whose life revolved around sports and academics and her children were in high school when she met a man she named Kevin.
He was also an accomplished athlete, with a degree in computer science.
The relationship blossomed, and they decided to move in together.
When Kevin retired from the Navy, she took over as his primary caretaker, and he continued his academic career.
After she graduated from college and enrolled at Columbia University, she found herself a new role.
She moved back to her home state of South Carolina to take on the new responsibilities of managing a small, but growing nonprofit, and she decided to take the leap.
After working for several years, she decided it was time to move on.
She told her friends about her decision, and the conversations continued.
“It’s not as if I didn’t have other options.
I just knew that it was the right one for me,” she said.
After nearly a decade, she’s finally feeling like she belongs in the “real world.”
“I feel like it’s a big, scary, uncertain, but not intimidating place,” she explained.
That’s why she’s decided to give her story of finding and staying in touch with her former college teammates a second chance.
“I didn’t know how much I wanted to share it, so I decided to put it out there.”
The story of a former teammate has been shared more than 2 million times on social media, and it has inspired countless other women to come forward.
She says she hopes to give back to the sport, to the students, and to society.
“A lot of people are just so shocked to hear it and to see it in a positive light,” she told ABC News.
“We have to be able to say, ‘Look, this is the person that we knew and this is who we are.
We’re all just the same.’
That’s a really powerful message.”
Kevin, who has remained anonymous to protect his teammates privacy, was a part of her high school baseball team and she’s been to his funeral.
He is now a high school valedictorian and is a mentor to a few of her friends.
“My goal is to do my part to help other women get out of the closet, and I’m just really lucky that I got to meet this guy,” she recalled.
“That’s my goal right now, is to help as many other women as I can.
I’m so grateful for the support I got.”
Kevin said he feels like he has the support of his family, as well.
“They were my first two closest friends,” he said.
“And I don’t even know if I could say I’ve had the same support as my father.”
Kevin has found solace in writing letters to other men who have left the sport and has been a mentor and friend to others who have been impacted by their former teammates’ stories.
“If you’re struggling and you don’t want to talk about it, or you don´t want to be open about it or you just want to let it go, I think you’re going to find some comfort in writing about it,” he added.
“But at the same time, you’re probably not going to be going to a good gym to work out, so you need to do the right thing and just do your thing.
You were all so talented and so hardworking, and that is what you’re known for. “
To all of my former teammates, I have so much respect for you.
You were all so talented and so hardworking, and that is what you’re known for.
But at the end of the day, you were all people.”
The full story of Kevin’s story has been featured on ABC News, NPR, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post.
And, as he is no longer part of his high school team, Kevin can now focus on his new role as an adviser and mentor for women in the sport.
“The more time I can spend with them and help them, the better I feel,” he told ABCNews.com.
“So now, I just want people to know that I’m here for them.
I will always be a mentor.
I won’t give up on you.
I want to do whatever I can to help you.”