Who WE Are: Khayden Hayden

Khayden Hayden has always marched, or in his case, played, to his own beat. After graduating from William Penn in 2014 and spending a year at the University of Delaware, Khayden discovered college wasn’t for him. Instead he followed his passion for playing the saxophone. While often booked for weddings and other special occasions, it’s the streets where Khayden found his real stage. He often plays on Newark’s Main Street, particularly on Wednesday nights when the street is shut down so restaurateurs can serve meals al fresco; the open-air dining experience that evolved due to the pandemic. “I street perform because I know the positive impact I can have on someone’s day. I have had so many people tell me how my playing has brightened their day, or even inspired them to pick up their instrument again. Street performing has also been a great way to connect with my community. As far as income, I’ll put it this way, I can make more in an hour or two of street performing than a full eight-hour shift at a normal retail job. The real income comes from the opportunities that arise from connections made with people I meet out on the street,” he says. Khayden’s love for music grew at William Penn. “While I never had the opportunity for one-on-one private lessons, the group lessons provided by my band instructors really laid a solid foundation for me. The numerous performance opportunities also allowed me to get more comfortable in front of a crowd.”  Khayden says music wasn’t the only thing he learned at William Penn. “I gained a good sense of self but also community. Colonial helped me to better my leadership skills and helped me to realize the power I had within to accomplish whatever I set my mind to do.”  Among his other entrepreneurial endeavors is photography, videography, and graphic design with Hayden saying, “My goal is pretty simple. I want to help adults and young adults unleash their inner creativity by tapping into their inner child. Children don’t ask permission to be creative, that’s just their natural state. I believe in order to create a better world for future generations, we need creative solutions for the problems plaguing us today.”  During the pandemic Khayden found a way to reach people by accumulating more than two million live stream views on social media platforms like Reddit, and he hopes people continue to follow his journey.

 For this gifted 25-year old, being a Colonial is a family affair. His mother teaches at Castle Hills, and three of his five siblings graduated from Penn. “I want people to know that Colonial is a district that truly cares about the future generations. They understand the way the world is changing and have adapted to it. Colonial School District gave me all the tools I needed to succeed in the real world!” he says.

Learn more at https://www.khaydenarts.com/