At seventeen, Keith left home. He took whatever jobs would help him and his twin brother pay the rent on their basement apartment, including hauling chickens, shoveling manure, and odd jobs. At every opportunity to earn his own way, Keith enthusiastically rose to the challenge.
Keith graduated from Spanish Fork High School with high honors. After a year at college, he said yes to another challenge, serving in the Paraguay, Asuncion mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–Day Saints.
While on his mission, Keith contracted meningitis and nearly died in a Paraguayan hospital. Despite a long recovery and relapse six months later, he served the people in his mission diligently for two full years. Keith loved meeting new people, providing what help he could, and gaining a new perspective through the lens of a new culture.
Upon returning to BYU, Keith was looking for a way to build a life of service and make a strong impact on the world. With this in mind, he chose to become an elementary education teacher. Not one to do things conventionally, Keith took a position as an aide in a migrant classroom and then as a student teacher in the colonies of Mexico. He found both experiences incredibly rewarding, and they helped inform his open, honest and meaningful teaching style as he went on to become an administrator in an inner city school.