Part 1: Interview with Paige Kassner, 18-year-old Servant Leader speaker!
Monday, April 25, 2016 - Joe Kiedinger
Think back (or maybe even way back) to when you were 12 years old. What were you up to? Maybe mowing the neighbors’ lawn for a few bucks? Watching an episode of Punky Brewster? Riding bikes with the neighbor kids? How about founding a non-profit organization that over the course of the next 6 years collects and distributes over 35,000 winter weather items (hats, scarves, mittens) to people in need within your home community? Our next Servant Leaders of Wisconsin (S.L.O.W) event speaker, Paige Kassner, has done just that! In May, Paige earns the title of the Servant Leaders of Wisconsin YOUNGEST speaker; she’s 18 years old. Paige will present her story of perseverance and inspire you with the work she is doing as Founder of The Warm Hands, Warm Hearts Project.
In advance of her presentation at the Servant Leaders of Wisconsin event on May 12th, Paige shared with us some thoughts on her journey.
Q: What inspired you to start The Warm Hands, Warm Hearts Project?
Paige: When I was in the 5th grade, it was a cold winter day and I had forgotten my mittens at home. As I was feeling how cold my hands were, I started to think about kids that don’t have mittens at home and what it would be like to have cold hands.
Q: Your speech title is called “Paige’s of Life – Persevere and Inspire…Grow, Elevate, Soar.” Tell us about a time you had to Soar.
Paige: When I was 16 years old, my life was put on hold because of a bad car accident. When I was in the hospital so many questions were being asked – “Will I walk again?” “How long will my recovery take?” But the care team of Doctors and Nurses would never provide answers. I decided I would provide my own answers and began setting goals that would get me through recovery. Just prior to the accident I got a lead role in the spring high school musical. I soared when I pushed myself on a timeline through recovery that allowed me to be back in time to take part in the musical. I spent over 6 weeks in the hospital and always kept my sights on what my recovery looked like!
Q: What does servant leadership mean to you?
Paige: Family. When I think of those that lead by serving I think of my family. We are better now, through the changes and challenges we’ve had in the past years, than we ever were before. Specifically, I think of how a positive attitude can make the biggest impact on a situation. When you bring a positive outlook and positive energy, it has the ability to swing what might seem like a bad situation to the good.
Q: Why should business leaders come see your presentation?
Paige: Come and see the importance of what you say to your children or the youth in your life and how your words and actions shape their choices and outlook on life. My generation may be young, but we can make a difference in the lives of many!
Join Us! See Paige speak at our upcoming Servant Leaders of Wisconsin event on May 12th. Be truly inspired by Paige’s story. If you do join us, please consider donating gently used or new hats, mittens, or scarves to help support The Warm Hands, Warm Hearts Project. Were you at our last S.L.O.W. event? If you missed it, read the post-presentation interview we had with Steve Jones!
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Want to learn more about our youth entering the workplace? Download “5 Things Millennials Want From Their Leader”!