WKU students attend live broadcast with TOMS founder

Quiche Matchen

WKU’s National Society of Leadership and Success convened a live broadcast with Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in Gary Ransdell Hall auditorium.

Mycoskie began the discussion with an anecdote about how he traveled to Argentina and saw firsthand children who would have to walk miles to go to school without shoes. He thought of starting a business for profit that could help those children in need.

Mycoskie’s business model is founded on the concept of equivalent exchange: for every pair of TOMS that are sold, a pair are sent to a child in need of shoes. TOMS started in 2006 and has since provided more than 10 million new shoes to children in need. Mycoskie not only helps children that need shoes, but he also helps those who need eyewear.


Students were able to interact with Mycoskie in a few different ways. Students could tweet their answer to his trivia questions, take a poll on Facebook or tweet questions to Mycoskie, which he answered during the broadcast.

Campbellsville senior Ashyya Robinson, NSLS vice president, said she liked Mycoskie’s story and how he started out helping people.

“Look how one little thought turned into a multi-million dollar company,” Robinson said.

Robinson said she hopes that people realize that if they have a dream that they should go for it.

“Don’t let anyone stop you from that,” Robinson said.

Franklin, Tenn., senior Laura Tiedt, a member of NSLS said she also liked Mycoskie’s story and it was cool to learn about the founder of TOMS.

Tiedt said she didn’t know the whole story about TOMS, but she does own a pair. She said she had been to previous broadcasts that NSLS has had, but this one was the best.

NSLS president Amira Bryant, a junior from Kileen, Texas, said this was the organization’s first live broadcast. Last semester, the organization broadcast the rapper Common, but it wasn’t live.

Bryant said she hopes people get a clear sense of hard work as well as leadership from the broadcast.

“This organization focuses on future success leaders, such as thinking outside the box,” Bryant said. “Having ideas to better your vision for the future.”

Bryant said the broadcasts they have are about people who have stood out and followed their vision and get to share it with students.

Mindy Johnson, assistant director of student activities leadership and adviser of NSLS, said she looks forward for students to come and find out what their organization is all about.

“I encourage students to at least come out and try it,” Johnson said. “It’s just to enhance your leadership skills. You can’t lose. It’s a win.”