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Highlight on Business:  Paradise in the Sky

Click Here to Listen to Paula’s Radio Interview with Mount Vernon Nazarene University WNZR Host Marcy Rinehart – April 2011

Click Here to Listen to Paula’s Radio Interview with ECKO House Radio

Paula Kyle’s planned movie about her experience with abuse, foster care system to be shot in Goshen

PAULA-KYLE-5848Ohio author and motivational speaker Paula Kyle hopes a planned movie about her experiences with abuse and the foster care system will be partly filmed at the Elkhart County Juvenile Detention Facility in Goshen.
J. C. Lee | Posted on March 21, 2015 at 8:15 a.m.

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50 States in 50 Days
Ohio House Concert to Benefit Foster and Homeless Youth


Singer/songwriter Kevin Montgomery is traveling through “50 States in 50 Days” to highlight the plight of homeless teens, and teens aging out of foster care in conjunction with the Orange Duffel Bag Foundation (www.ODBF.org). In each state, he will perform a house concert, and interview a teenager who aged out of foster care, empowering them to share their personal experience. Each concert is acoustic, with guitars and a keyboard.

The goal of this effort is to provide support and raise awareness about foster care. Kevin will be filming a documentary of interviews with former foster youth as part of his tour.

Ohio’s House Concert will take place on Monday, Sept. 10, at Paradise in the Sky, Youth Motivational Services, Inc., located at 9580 Westenbarger Drive, Mount Vernon, OH 43050, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

President Rich Stephens, Vice President Paula Kyle and the founders of Paradise in the Sky, Youth Motivational Services are hosting the Ohio House Concert at their 50-acre facility for free, and providing a resort cabin on-site for Kevin and his crew. A former foster youth herself, Paula’s hope is that community will rally behind Kevin Montgomery and support his cause.

Kevin Montgomery dedicates his musical talents to support the Orange Duffel Bag Foundation, a nonprofit co-founded by his passionate author/advocate sister, Echo Garrett, and Sam Bracken, whose experience with abuse and homelessness inspired the desire to create radical change.  The Orange Duffel Bag Foundation provides coaching, training and ongoing mentoring to at-risk youth, based on Sam Bracken’s  “7 Rules for the Road” from Garrett and Bracken’s award-winning book My Orange Duffel Bag.

Attendance is free, but members of the public are invited to make donations support the Orange Duffel Bag Foundation. The suggested donation is $20 per person. Up to 150 members of the public are invited to attend.

More than 20,000 children are in foster care in Ohio, and almost 1,200 “age out” of the system each year at age 18. These young people navigate young adulthood without adult support, and a high proportion experience homelessness.


Paula A Kyle, Vice President
Paradise in the Sky, Youth Motivational Services, Inc.
Phone: (740) 501-1193
Email: paradiseinthesky9580@yahoo.com

Echo Garrett , Author/Advocate
Co-Founder and Board Chair of Orange Duffel Bag Foundation
Phone: (404) 538-4983
Email: echo@echogarrett.com

Letter: ‘The toughest job you’ll ever love’

2012-04-23 15:29:06

Many thanks to The Lima News for the excellent coverage of Paula Kyle, an advocate for foster children and foster care.
Kyle’s story of abuse and neglect is all too common. Being a foster parent exposes you to what my mother used to call, “A picture of life’s other side.”
She calls the family who adopted her “heroes,” and rightly so. I am sure this family did not see themselves as heroes, just everyday people who were blessed to have this young lady walk through their door and into their hearts. Kyle correctly calls them, “heroes.”
Foster parenting is like what they say about the Peace Corps … “It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.” Fostering is not for everyone, but I am mystified that there are not more who do foster parenting. It calls for a heart being enough to include children beyond your biological children. What a blessing it is to tell two teen girls who say, “We’ve been told many times how worthless we are,” that they are of great value and are loved and wanted. What a blessing to hear a teenage boy say, “You’re the only people who ever loved us.”
I wonder how many other Paula Kyles are out there, looking for and needing a hero?
— Pastor Robert King, Spencerville OHIO

Speaker shares story of foster care

April 12, 2012

LIMA — Paula Kyle had a fairy tale childhood, but not the happy kind.
Hers came complete with a wicked stepmother, a host of villains, and a father who was, to put it mildly, no prince.

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EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact:
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Tel: 800-288-4677
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(When requesting a review copy, please provide a street address.)

New Book Cheerleads Miracles in Foster Care System

Author Paula Ann Kyle’s story of success will provide hope and inspiration to fostered children

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – In the 1970s Paula Ann Kyle lived in seven different foster homes. It is this experience that she mines in her new book    “On the Edge of Unthinkable” (published by iUniverse). “This is my gift of hope to today’s foster children,” she says.

This three-generation memoir describes Kyle’s journey in the foster care system, starting in 1974 when she and her two sisters were abruptly taken from their family and unceremoniously deposited in three separate foster homes. “On the Edge of Unthinkable” ultimately describes the ramifications Kyle’s childhood had on many relationships throughout her life.

Readers will read about the heroes of Kyle’s childhood, including her dedicated case manager and her final foster parents, all of whom she credits in great part with her success.

Despite the many negative reviews of foster care, Kyle maintains that it can and does work miracles. “As a former foster child I could never find a story with a positive outcome,” she says. “It has been almost two years since this story was launched into production in a previous issue; it has become obvious to me that, especially foster children, read this story in different code of hope and inspiration.”

In addition, Kyle has been pleased with the book’s early reception. “It has been used,” she notes, “by both high school classes and university-level social work classes.”

About the Author
Born in Camp Pendleton, San Diego, California in 1961, Paula Ann Kyle could have never imagined the winding road life had in store for her. From her turbulent beginnings as a Marine and, eventually, Army brat, being shuttled from one military base to another along with her siblings, to the trauma and heartache of losing her mother at the age of 11, the horrors that were to follow were all parts of the path toward becoming the confident and charismatic women she is now. Kyle became a wife and mother of two children. Now residing in small town in Ohio, Kyle enjoys the serenity of her cabin in the woods. Kyle’s newest and most joyful role is being a grandmother to three beautiful grandchildren.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on BarnesandNoble.com. iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit iuniverse.com or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

Family retreat to open it’s doors

Mount Vernon News
December 9, 2011

MOUNT VERNON — A peaceful, remote setting can soon be enjoyed by local and surrounding foster care providers as a close-to-home cabin retreat getaway. Paula Kyle will soon open the Foster Family Retreat and Conference Center just west of Mount Vernon as a much-needed respite for those offering foster care or other agencies desiring a retreat or wishing to conduct a conference.

Author of the book “On the Edge of Unthinkable,” Kyle is a former foster child of the Knox County foster care system and has been a speaker for conferences and numerous special events. She has shared her tragic story of losing her mother at a young age, being separated from her siblings, and enduring physical and emotional abuse while being raised in numerous Knox County foster homes.

After residing in her rustic wooded cabin for nine years while finishing her memoir, Kyle has decided to open her home so that foster families and agencies can enjoy the serenity of the peaceful setting as a way to “get away from it all.” The facility is a one–unit, three-bedroom cabin, fully furnished, and can accommodate up to 30 people for a conference setting.

Several walking paths are located on the property for those wishing to do a little outdoor exploration. Equine horse therapy sessions are also available where participants can interact with one of the many horses a few miles from the cabin site.

A grand opening ribbon-cutting event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Beverages and refreshments will be served. There will be opportunities throughout this time to go see the equine friends at the facility. For more information, email edgeofunthinkable@yahoo.com.


Kyle receives award; movie in the works

by Alan Reed
News Staff Reporter

MOUNT VERNON – A broken clay flower pot lays on the floor in pieces.  Fresh red roses lay amongst the crumpled clay.  This was the inspiration for the cover to the book “On the Edge of Unthinkable.” written by Paula Kyle of Mount Vernon.  “The flower pot is a symbol of our broken sisterhood; and the live flowers are a message to all that we survived,” said Kyle of the purpose of her book, which tells the story about being separated from her siblings and growing up in the Knox County foster care system.

Kyle was recently honored by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio with the Special Recognition Award for her book, inspiration through speaking engagements, and help at agencies and foster parent trainings.  Kyle attended the PCSAO annual conference in Worthington on Oct. 6 to receive her award.

“Every word of the book is true; I even took out about three-fourths of it,” said Kyle in telling of her 10 years in writing the book.

After bouncing around to six different foster families before eventually landing in a loving and caring home with Bonnie and Larry Ulrey of Mount Vernon, Kyle’s heart-wrenching story is one that Judith Goodhand, retired Children Services director and consultant just had to see published.  “You’re the older sister…you need to do this,” she told Kyle, after seeing what Kyle experienced and witnessing the devastation and lifelong scars brought on by the separation of siblings.

“She is such a wonderful woman,” Kyle said of Goodhand, adding how she presented Goodhand with one of the first copies of her self-published book at the time she was being taken to a nursing facility.

“It is critical that we show them the importance of not separating siblings,” said Kyle.  “Our message to these kids is ‘I can make it; so can you; reach in there and walk through the fire.'”

But the good news doesn’t stop there.  Kyle met up with Richard Senne, a screenwriter from Cleveland who proposed the idea of producing a movie based on her book, “You need to do this,” he told Kyle after hearing her speak at a conference.

“The movie is already outlined, and there are three producers waiting to see the screen write,” said Kyle.  Senne was so excited about the project that he said it was the “fastest screen write he had ever done.”  A contract for the movie was signed on Oct. 6 and Senne is expecting the film to be a big hit in the theaters.  “It’s totally based on the book.  It is true life rites of the book,” said Kyle.

While production of the movie will take considerable time to complete, Kyle is in hopes that the producers consider shooting the video here in Mount Vernon.  “Every street I travel down, I can see the events that happened when I was a kid,” she said.  Senne told her he would be pushing for the video to be shot locally.

“I’m starting to see what Judith wanted me to do.” said Kyle while holding back tears.  “There’s got to be more families.”

A second book, entitled “Leftovers,” is already in the works, and a third book is planned as well, Kyle said.


Saved through Foster Care:  One Woman’s Touching Life Struggle Raises Awareness and Inspires Hope

New three generational memoir exposes one woman’s life in a mission to show how foster care can change the lives of children who have fallen through the cracks.
Ecko House Publishing – Press Release

mtv_news_articleHarrowing memoir says abuse victim saved by foster care

by Mark Jordan
News Staff Reporter

Some books are for light entertainment, some aren’t.  Paula Kyle’s memoir of growing up in the Knox County foster care system definitely isn’t for idle browsing, but she hopes that her harrowing story will ultimately prove inspiring to others.

Split from her younger sisters after her birth-mother’s death in the 1970’s, Kyle went through six foster families before settling in with Bonnie and Larry Ulrey, who helped stabilize her torn-apart world.  Although the healing continues to this day, Kyle’s point is clear.

“Children’s Services saved my and my sisters’ lives,” Kyle said.

But it took over 23 years for her to pull the story together and put it on paper after being initially encouraged to do so in 1986 by Judith Goodhand, then-director of Knox County Human Services.  Kyle said Goodhand had taken a personal interest in her case in the 1970s and became a strong friend and supporter of Kyle.  Kyle, in turn, often helped Goodhand by speaking and testifying about Children Services in order to help improve and refine the state system which had split the sisters up into separate homes.

The most harrowing part of Kyle’s story comes early in the book, where she portrays her family in the 1960s and early ’70s, terrorized by an angry stepfather.  After her mother’s death, the stepfather (who has since left the area and is only identified by a pseudonym in the text) remarried.  According to Kyle, the abusiveness of the girls’ new stepmother far exceeded that of their stepfather.  As oldest daughter, the 12-year old Paula received the brunt of it.

Three of the five girls were turned over to the state and put in separate foster homes in 1974.  Ill-prepared to live with others, who were often just as ill-prepared to deal with her issues, Kyle bounced from foster family to foster family, becoming increasingly troubled with each move.  When she finally landed at the Ulrey’s home, she found for the first time a home were she was regarded as an equal part of the family.

“I did my best to avoid being called a foster parent,” Larry Ulrey said in a chapter contributing his point of view to the memoir.  “I liked it when we were asked which ones are the foster children we’d answer, ‘I forget.'”

Kyle said she hopes the book shows parents and foster parents what it’s the little things they do that can make a huge impact on children.  She said it was a combination of a large commitment by the Ulreys and the small ways in which they expressed love and support which helped her eventually stabilize her life and start building in a positive direction, something she frankly admits took a long time.  Without loving family support, she said she doesn’t know what might have become of her.  She hopes this book will encourage some families to make the serious and difficult commitment to becoming foster families in order to help save others like her.

“Too many children are in institutions,” Kyle said, “and not enough are in loving homes.”

Kyle’s book combines her narrative along with perspectives from her sisters, her daughter, and Larry Ulrey.  What begins wrenchingly with stories of vicious physical and mental abuse ends inspiringly with recovery, health and peace. Kyle has worked closely with Printing Arts Press in Mount Vernon to create a self-published edition of the memoir, although other publishers have expressed interest in the project as well.  Those interested in obtaining a copy of the book can contact Kyle at paulakyle61@aol.com

It has been cathartic for Kyle to finally come to grips with the truth of her story.

“I feel like I can actually start living now, ” she said.

Mount Vernon resident puts life’s struggles into print

Written by A. Nickel
Mount Vernon High School Jacket Journal
Thursday, 04 February 2010

While some people may allow their negative childhood experiences to let their lives spin out of control, others allow themselves to learn from and build on their past experiences, and in the process, improve not only their life, but the lives of others.

An example of this type of individual is Paula Kyle. Kyle, who graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1979, has not had what most would call an easy life.

From living with an abusive adoptive father until her preteen years to bouncing between seven different foster homes, Kyle has been forced to deal with some agonizing situations.

In 1986, Paula decided that her story needed to be heard. Advocates from Knox County Children Services encouraged her to sit down and retell her story through print, and that is exactly what Kyle did.

Titling the book “On the Edge of Unthinkable,” Kyle retold her story, which was just recently printed.

According to Kyle, digging back into her wounding childhood was not an easy task.
“It was painful. It was like pouring salt into a wound, some of it even I can’t read,” said Kyle.

Kyle hopes to draw some attention to a certain audience with publishing her story.  She hopes that with retelling her encounters with foster care, some adults may take away some important information.

“I want to draw attention to people who want to foster/adopt a child. I want more parents to realize the different between ‘just foster parents’ to foster parents who are committed to their kids, no matter what,” said Kyle.

Kyle also has some goals set with printing this memoir of her life.
My goal is for parents to realize that teenagers need homes too, and that siblings should be kept together,” said Kyle.

Along with that goal, she also has another significant goal, that children and teenagers learn some important information from the book as well.

“Children and teenagers that go through adversity should believe that it is possible to get through and be productive as well. They also need to understand that the systems are better now, they’re put in place, it’s not what it was like in the 70’s,” said Kyle.

Kyle was sure to point out she would have never have made it without the kindness, commitment and support with her seventh, successful foster family.

“Out of seven foster homes, Larry and Bonnie (Ulrey) were the ones that committed through thick and thin. I think that there should be more parents like Larry. He is one of those extraordinary people who committed to their kids for life.

Kyle can not emphasize enough the importance of teens and children speaking out against violence.

“Don’t walk around in silence. I walked around for 30 years and didn’t tell my story. Never ever stay silent, in these days and times you should never ever stay silent during adversity, ” said Kyle.