LAFAYETTE, La. — Kenneth Boudreaux grew up on the northside of Lafayette and said he had an amazing childhood.
The seventh of eight children and youngest of five boys, Kenneth said there was a lot to live up to being a "Boudreaux Boy."
"I was a 70's baby and we did things a little differently," Boudreaux explained. "Hip Hop was about to come into play. My oldest brother didn't do hip hop, right? So, I faced a number of teachers that said, 'You're nothing like your brothers.' I heard a lot of people say that, 'You're going to go jail. You're going to be the first Boudreaux to fail.' I heard that."
Boudreaux was not going to let those words keep him down.
He had something to prove.
That drive, he said, passed down from generations of hard workers.
"My grandmother was the first African-American in the state of Louisiana to take Girls State at LSU," Boudreaux said. "That sets the tone. My other grandmother was a cafeteria worker. She served children and others in a school cafeteria and that's not easy work. My grandfather was an early law enforcement officer. I have his badges displayed right here on my desk. He also had a lawn service. Back then he cleaned very wealthy peoples yards. That was before the big time lawn services."
That service background is what shaped Boudreaux's life. He served, for 12 years, as a Lafayette Councilman and three times as council chair.
"Only one other person has done that," Boudreaux said. "Served three terms uncontested."
In those twelve years he worked hard to make Lafayette one. No more Southside vs. Northside.
"That's when we're going to be at our greatest, when I don't have to go so far to get a certain thing," Boudreaux said. "I can go right around the corner and our neighborhoods are safe and comfortable. When people are back on porches and sharing sugar and things of that nature. That's my dream. That's my hope and that's my prayer."
Today, Boudreaux is on another journey. It is one that he never thought he would be on but says it is a blessing. A battle with prostate cancer.
"When I got beyond the anger and frustration that I did not deserve this I turned it into something that I think can help others."
Through the ups and downs, Boudreaux said his story is far from over. He will continue to fight for change, equality, and ONE Lafayette.