Kyland Turner grew up in one of the tougher sections of L.A., the dangerous reality of the streets was an early part of his life.
"Me and my friend were playing with a couple other friends and this guy was running. We looked back and we saw a car chasing him and he was getting shot at," said Kyland. "I was about 9 years old."
Besides those challenges, Kyland also was diagnosed with ADHD. But something he found in high school helped turn around his outlook. That was the Get Lit poetry team at Youth Opportunities High School.
"I know where I come from, I know you can change, you can. You can be whatever you want to be," said Kyland. "So my mindset is I love poetry, I love writing."
The big changes in Kyland not only impressed teachers, it also inspired other students.
"He's become a more focused, dedicated student," said teacher Bridget Valles. "It's kind of ironic, because now he pulls 'B's and 'A's and he's one of those students that's the role model for other kids who used to be like him."
Kyland motivates others with his poetry, and it comes through to the kids he meets.
"If somebody really cares about you, they're not going to be telling you to go do this, go do that," said Kyland. "They're going to say, 'You need to get in your books, you need to get out these streets.'"
Through strong words and actions, Cool Kid Kyland Turner has changed his life and finds a way to change the lives of others.