HOUGHTON, Mich. (WJMN) – What does it mean to be seen? Not just in the visual sense, but to be validated and supported for who you are. It is something one man has experienced at key points in his life and is now working to make sure others feel the same way.

Jaylyn Boone was born in Flint, went to college at Michigan Technological University, and is now living in Dallas, Texas with his wife and daughter. In our conversation with Jaylyn Boone, we talked about his journey so far, what he wants the future to look like, and what it means to create a legacy.

Jaylyn Boone with a youth group.

Boone, who graduated in 2018 is now a professional speaker, working to educate, equip, and empower students. We talked with him first about the importance of finding your purpose.

Finding his purpose and place in life started with a rejection by the Michigan State football program, which Boone says ended up being one of the biggest moments of his life and the reason he made the jump to Michigan Tech.

Coach Erik Ieuter was one of the first people to see Boone beyond the surface level. Boone admits he had to change his perspective to truly understand the opportunity before him.

Once he accepted the invitation to try out for Michigan Tech, it meant driving the 8 hours from Flint to Houghton in December. After just getting started with his workout, Boone said the next person to see him was Coach Tom Kearly.

A three-year starter for the Huskies, the football field was not the only place Boone excelled. He was developing relationships with his professors, specifically Heather Knewtson who saw his value and supported his growth.

Boone was nominated and selected as an Outstanding Man in Business for Michigan Tech and invited to give a speech at his commencement in 2018. He says the moment hit home before the speech when he was reading his own bio in the graduation program.

COURTESY: Michigan Tech

Boone is now a member of The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Sense of Belonging (DEIS) Alumni Advisory Board. Since graduation, he continues to contribute to the quality of life for students on campus. He reflected on one specific moment, facilitated by Michigan Tech Athletic Director, Dr. Suzanne Sanregret.

As a young professional living in Texas, Boone talked with us about his changing perspective and how it’s important for him to be seen today, which includes his faith.

Boone is now a husband and father. He shared a message for his daughter about being seen and his vision of what he wants for her future.

You can learn more about what Jaylyn Boone is doing here.