STUDENT PROFILE: SLHS teen sees gaming as going from bad to good

Photo by Nita Johnson

Kaleb Bain refers to himself as a "tech nerd" because he finds playing video games as a challenge. 


Video games are the rage for teens right now, and one South Laurel High School teen is among those who sees this as a potential career.

Kaleb Bain refers to himself as a "tech nerd" because he finds playing video games as a challenge.

"I like the horror or zombie games best," he said. "My favorite one I've played recently is 'The Last of Us.' It tells how a daughter dies and then transfers the girl across Washington, D.C. Then you realize that you love her like a daughter and take her back to the village. The games I like start out bad but end up good."

In fact, Bain hopes to design games or be a Beta tester.

"A Beta tester is someone who if a company wants to test a game before they release it to the public, tests it out," Bain explained. "If I can't design games or be a Beta tester, on the side I'd like to build robots."

His interest in robotics and learning how things work came at an early age.

"When I was 5, my mom gave me a broken lighter," he said. "I took it apart, refilled the fuel and the lighter worked perfectly."

That natural mechanical ability is another reason that Bain says he likes robotics, and he even believes he could design some that would accentuate educational aspects. But even as a sophomore student, he is having trouble finding a college that offers what he believes is his career path.

"I'm having trouble finding a college where I can learn to build robots or design video games," he said. "If I can't do either of those, I would look to being a mechanic or an engineer."

He hopes to get enrolled into classes at the Center for Innovation and take engineering classes, although this semester he is busy with biology, world history, art, P.E., geometry and English II. But he still insists that his favorite class - that he hasn't taken yet - is robotics.

At school, he tries to be a good friend to everyone and especially helpful to students with physical challenges. He said he sees very little incidents of bullying, but when he does, he speaks out.

"I really love this school. Everyone here is treated equally," he said. "You see people who are in wheelchairs or have some problems and everyone shows them respect. But if I ever do see someone who is being bullied, I stand up and fight for what's right."

"I'm one of those people who help other people. I've always been like that," he added.

He cites two teachers who have been especially influential in his life.

"Mr. Collier, ever since he's known my sister, and is my art teacher, has always guided me in the right path," Bain said. "And Mrs. Jones, who moved to North, was like a mother to me."

His sister is older than him and recently moved to Middlesboro so she could pursue an advancement in her job. That leaves Bain and his mother, Jeanne Walder, at home. His mother also recently received a job promotion to a managerial position at Dairy Queen.

While Bain sees the world as an opportunity to grow personally and professionally, he manages to keep his humility and concern for others as his primary focus.

"If I could change anything, it would be for people to be treated equally, not for religion or sexuality or money," he said. "I think that money is the root of evil - there are poor people begging for money. People kill and have been killed for money. I think if you absolutely need it, the government should give it to you for free."

But until that day comes, Bain still focuses on treating people fairly and with respect.

"I just want people to walk around and be safe and be happy," he said.

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