Aksarben Alum pays it forward.
Dr. Kevin Kilcawley may operate a successful private practice today, but the future didn’t always look so bright for this Aksarben Scholarship Alum. As a high school student without much stability at home, Kevin became mixed up in all the wrong things - the wrong crowd, drinking, drugs, skipping school and carrying a 0.8 GPA. That’s when his brother Sean, a seminary student, stepped in. Sean, twelve years older than Kevin, recognized that his brother needed help; help that came in the form of the Raun family. The Rauns, a devout Catholic family, had recently lost their son, Nate, to a brain tumor and were grieving and doing their best to heal and raise their four other children when they met Kevin. “I think God has something planned for us.” Chris Raun said to his wife Teresa. After all, Kevin was born the same year as Nate. This troubled boy needed the support of a loving home; it was a no-brainer for the Raun family, right? “No way!” was the initial thought and response Teresa gave her husband upon the suggestion that they take Kevin in. “With other kids in the house and understanding all that Kevin was into, I thought it was a very bad idea.” After some careful thought and consideration, her views shifted, “I realized that all he needed was a little bit of love, and I knew we could do that.” So, on their son Nate’s birthday, they decided that Kevin should come to stay. Teresa and Chris tried to teach Kevin good values as they worked with his probation officer and shuttled him back and forth to school, church, and drug tests. Soon, Kevin’s grades and overall outlook on life began to change, and he became an example for his classmates. Over time, Kevin’s guidance counselor took notice and recommended that he apply for college scholarships, including Aksarben. The Raun family had been involved with 4-H and theAksarben Stock Show for many years, “but, I didn’t realize AKSARBEN offered scholarships,” Teresa said. Receiving word that he had been awarded anAksarben scholarship, “it really opened a door,” Kevin said. “Aksarben opened one door that led to 80 others. Because of that, I received so much more than an education [a BA in Psychology and Philosophy], I met friends that I’ll keep for life, I met my wife.” Kevin went on to receive a Master’s of Science and his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and has since opened a private practice in the Des Moines area, where he resides with his wife and children. Once reluctant to tell his story, he now shares it freely, devoting his life to helping others, especially troubled youth who remind him of who he once was. Pictured: Parents Teresa and Chris Raun Kevin Kilcawley, Adam and Joe Raun