Durango High Grad Turned BMX Star has Message of Kindness - 8 News NOW

Durango High Grad Turned BMX Star has Message of Kindness

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LAS VEGAS -- It was a special homecoming Monday for an alumnus of Durango High School here in Las Vegas.

T.J. Lavin graduated from the school nearly 20 years ago. Since then he has gone on to become a professional BMX rider, actor and television host with MTV.

Like many other kids, it was a much different story when he was 17 and trying to fit in. Lavin actually called himself a wallflower in high school.

He graduated in 1995 and he was not sure where his life was going to take him.

but one lesson he learned, even back then, was to always be kind. He relayed that message to current students at Durango High School, as he told them his life story both the highs and the lows.

His focus was on kindness and how it got him through some of the toughest times in life, including when he almost died in a bike riding accident three years ago.

"When you have a head injury, things go on you don't even know what you are going to do," Lavin said.

Lavin talked about how friends came to his side then, as well as back in high school, when he was just 5 foot 2 and a 100 pounds, an easy target for bullies.

He explained how he didn't fight back, but walked away and kept pursuing his passion with the support of those who saw his potential.

"If you are nice to people, they will remember it. I promise. They will remember it," Lavin said.

Durango High School Principal Kristy Keller says bullying continues to be an issue on her campus, like any other high schools. She says getting someone like Lavin to help kids see beyond their differences is key.

"I think kids can look at him and say, 'wow that could be me,'" Keller said, "His message, to me, loud and clear, is pay it forward be kind."

For Lavin, these kids are the real stars in the room. He just wants them to remember to see that in each other.

"Believe me, life will be a lot easier, if you are a kind person. That is all there is to it," Lavin said.

Lavin is partnering with the local non-profit Project 150 to speak at various high schools here in southern Nevada.

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