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Dylan Willis seems to radiate qualities that draw others to him.

“He has an amazing spirit,” his mother, Michelle, said. “He is the most positive person I have ever met. He inspires me and his dad every day. We joke that he wakes up with a song in his heart.”

While Dylan does inspire his mother, his father, Brad, and his younger brother, he also inspires Kristen Dodd, his teacher at Buena Vista Elementary.

“Whether Dylan is giving morning announcements on BVTV, serving as captain in our after school enrichments or campaigning for a charity drive as our Student Council president, he is always leading the way for his peers,” Dodd said. “Dylan’s compassion for others is awe-inspiring to not only myself but also his classmates.”

Michelle Willis said much of what drives Dylan is innate, whether it is on the baseball field or at school.

“He is also full of grace,” she said. “That’s something you can’t really teach a person. It is really overwhelming and it reinforces that the things you do every day make a difference. My husband and I call it ‘man training.’ Every day, we are raising men, not little boys.”

Dodd said Dylan lives to serve.

“In our class, Dylan serves as a job monitor making sure everyone is on task all the time,” she said. “If someone is having an issue managing their job, Dylan willingly steps into help. Dylan also plays an active role in our community. Whether he is charging up another Student Council fundraiser in order to help those in need or playing with his Northwood Little League team, Dylan knows how to lead by example. From Dylan I’ve learned to live life selflessly through acts of kindness to others.”

Michelle Willis said whether he excels at sports or other endeavors is not what is most important, though she is proud of his accomplishments.

“I do care that he is kind,” she said. “I do care if he’s compassionate.”

Dylan’s favorite…

Movie: “Like Mike 2: Streetball”

Food: Ribs

Hobby: Baseball

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