Senior profile: Ki Ballard

“Fashion seems to always be the highest priority when it comes to what electives Ki wants to do.” -Josh Gift (Harper Heaps )

After KHS, Ki Ballard is doing the Vocational Skills Program (VSP), a SSD run program where students go to different job sites as they learn a variety of skills.

His sketchbook is filled with designs — designs of clothes for one of his favorite bands, BLACKPINK, designs of dresses littered with pink and gold and a design of a jumpsuit with high-heeled boots. The pages of Ki Ballard’s sketchbook showcase his creativity, with fashion being what he wants to study outside of high school. 

“Fashion seems to always be the highest priority when it comes to what electives Ki wants to do,” Josh Gift, special education teacher, said. “He talks about [fashion] a lot. One of the jobs that he’s working on with me is using a sewing machine and some cloth construction, and so Ki has that skill already.”

After teaching Ki for three years and seeing his sketchbook, Gift thinks fashion is a big part of Ki. Katie Bekebrede, physical education teacher, has also noticed Ki’s interest in fashion and said he loves to share his passion during Dance and Fitness class. 

“Before class, [Ki] is always on his computer and he has this running PowerPoint presentation where he puts pictures of things he likes, anything from hair to clothing,” Bekebrede said. “[The PowerPoint] is a runway-esque kind of look. It’s very high-end fashion that [Ki] likes.” 

Amanda Roberts, family and consumer science teacher, discovered Ki’s love for fashion after he took a fashion design class where he created sketches and designs for the semester. Roberts thinks fashion brings out a different side in Ki. 

“[Ki isn’t] as serious as he seems,” Roberts said. “I think that he’s high-spirited, and fashion is something that really excites him.

Fashion is something that really excites him.

— Amanda Roberts

If people would stop and have conversations with him about [fashion], they would see a side to him they would be surprised by because it really brightens him up.” 

Ki also took a fashion construction course where he would sew items with fun, printed patterns. Roberts thinks Ki’s biggest strength is finding ways to get creative, because to her, you can’t find Ki’s unique designs in stores. 

“There’s just something about fashion that draws personality out of him,” Roberts said. “I feel like [fashion] is a way for him to come out of his shell.”