Since the age of 8, I’ve been front and center in the spotlight – some things in the entertainment industry but more in the philanthropy world. I have always been introduced as “Khloe Kares, the kid that is helping women on Skid Row, Los Angeles.” Now 8 years later, I’m still on this journey.
The journey is a busy one. From flying on planes, hotel hopping, memorizing speeches, and talking to strangers about my work in the community, I’m always on the move. In the 5th grade, my family and I made a huge life changing decision to put me in homeschool. Two things lead to this decision. One, I was being bullied for my work in the community. Helping people experiencing homelessness in the 4th grade is not the “cool” thing to do. I could see how students might get jealous of my situation. I was taking days off or leaving school early for speaking engagements. But to my defense, I was pulling straight A’s and on the honor roll. Kids were just mean to me. I would come home daily crying about something someone said to me. It was awful.
I had a handful of friends that were homeschooled, so we did some research and was all for transitioning to being at home where I could be safe and free from the bullying. Convincing my dad was the hardest part. I come from a very traditional family, and both my mom and dad didn’t know much about the homeschool world. My last straw was when I attended the People’s Choice Awards. (I even got to walk the red carpet! What a moment!) People Magazine placed me on “Top 10 Best Dressed Kids List” at the People’s Choice Awards. That day was a hectic day. I remember my mom picked me up from school and we rushed home to get dressed. I found this really cute faux hawk hairstyle, and my mom was ready to style my hair. I attended the event and kept my hair in the faux hawk style for the next day. Kids at school made fun of me. Here I am, coming down from an exciting evening, all to go to school and kids made fun of my hair. The moment I got home, I told my mom to take my hair down and cried in my bed. That was the moment both my mom and dad agreed to move me into homeschool.
The other issue was the traveling, I was traveling at least once a month. Sometimes I’d be gone for a week and I would miss a lot of school. I always kept up with my work, but it was just a lot. This was my “norm” and it’s something I got used to.
I continued my homeschool journey up until my 2nd semester of my sophomore year in high school. After the pandemic travel slowed down for me. I was still actively doing things, just not in person. I also noticed I was getting a little depressed from being in the house all the time. I wanted to experience high school life. Dedicating my younger years to philanthropy has been rewarding, and I would never change a thing. I started to realize, I can only attend high school once in my life. And missing that opportunity I couldn’t live without.
My newest journey in life is living two separate lives. I’m still very active in the philanthropy world, but now I go to high school in person. I wanted the opportunity to meet and make friends the conventional way. Not because of what I do or who I am. None of my high school friends know what I do. I keep it very separate. I want to know what it’s like to be a normal teenager. My next two years In high school will be a journey of self reflection, self discovery, and figuring out who Khloe Thompson is. I know who I am as “Khloe Kares.” That is still who I am, but there is a whole other side of myself that I would like to grow and explore.
My advice to any young person who has a busy life is to take time to figure out who you are as a person. All your extracurricular activities help develop skills and talents. But who are you inside? What makes you laugh or cry? How do you cope with stressful situations? What’s the best way to communicate your feelings? Knowing who you are, can help you stay grounded. I’m still learning how to juggle life and feeling comfortable with sharing different parts of my life with others, but there is joy knowing there is a whole other side of me that is still like an onion. I’m pilling those layers and working on being more vulnerable.