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At 15 & Pregnant Her Art Teacher Believed In Her, Now She Runs A Studio To Honor His Legacy

A man with long hair and a beard smiles as he poses for a selfie with a smiling teen.

When we’re young, having the right people in our lives can make a world of difference. For Kayla Carlile, James Dickey was one of those people. He was her art teacher, and he showed her the support she needed as a pregnant 15-year-old. During lunch at school, she’d often spend time in the art classroom. Here, James encouraged her to not give up on her art.

From the start, James could see Kayla’s artistic talents. Over the years, she only got better. Now, she owns her own art studio where she sells her own work (which can also be found online) and leads Paint & Sip Classes on the weekends. For much of this, James was around to cheer her on. Sadly, though, he passed away in 2021. Now, Kayla is honoring him in a viral TikTok.


Reminiscing a very special influence on my art today…

♬ stuck on the floor out everywhere march 8th – Av

Art Teacher’s Unwavering Support Leaves Lasting Impact Long After He’s Gone

James’ positive impact on Kayla’s life is proof that kind words and encouragement go a long way. Now, not only is Kayla making it as an artist, she’s also carrying on her art teacher’s legacy. This can be seen, in part, by one of his paintings hanging in her studio. In turn, one of her own is in his family’s home.

“As a high school teacher myself I can say there is no better way that you could honor his memory than by living the life you were destined for,” someone shares in the comments. “There’s so much pride in our students’ successes.”

There’s certainly no doubt that James would be oh-so proud of Kayla and all she continues to accomplish in life!

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here!

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