Xavier Student Inspired after Sandy Hook Tragedy

By Christina Targosz, Reporter

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By KCRG Intern

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Kylie DeWees had never played the piano before. She didn't take piano lessons, and she doesn't read sheet music, but someone might never know by listening to her.

It wasn't the desire to learn but the emotions she felt from the Sandy Hook shooting that inspired her to play.

"I was really upset and so I think that's how some of my emotions took over and made me really focus and start to play piano," DeWees said.

She used that emotion to compose an entire C-D of songs.

"Piano is really played through the heart and you could totally tell that Kylie had been inspired by actually composing and doing the different movements as far as the piano pieces," Lisa DeWees, Kylie's mom, said.

With CD sales and other fundraising events, she raised more than $18,000, wanting to give an Angel of Hope statue to donate to the Sandy Hook Victims. Her CD is available worldwide on sites like iTunes and Amazon.

"I had no doubts that she'd find a way to do that. She's the kind of student that when she puts her mind to something its going to happen," Tome Keating, Xavier Principal, said.

But Sandy Hook had already received a statue. So the Angel of Hope statue will be placed on the Xavier campus in April.

To thank Kylie for everything she has done, Sandy Hook school has invited her to perform during its one year memorial service.

"It means the world actually, it kind of seems like everything is putting itself into place," DeWees said.

Her family says it's a God-given talent, both her piano playing and her endless compassion.

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