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Interview with Karina Kaisa, Managing Director of Leading Learners!

Bio: Karina Kaisa is a seventeen year old who lives in B.C, Canada. During her free time, she enjoys reading, doing puzzles, playing the piano, and trying new things. Karina can also speak three languages: Russian, English, and French. Karina is part of a non-profit organization, Leading Learners, which she who hopes to see a future where students get the help they need to have a successful future!

Interview by Lois Chan

So as an introduction, what is your name, age, interests and something you hope to accomplish one day?

My name is Karina Kaisa and I am seventeen years old! Some of my interests include doing puzzles and playing the piano. Something I do hope to accomplish is getting a bachelorette degree in science. This is something I am hoping for, but it may change in the future.

What is your role in Leading Learners and how did you come into it?

I am the Managing Director in Leading Learners. I came into it as Galicia, the founder, had told me about her plans for Leading Learners, and so I was there to help Galicia post opportunities available for students. I was definitely interested in helping every way I can, as it was an opportunity to be a part of a non-profit organization, to help empower students with resources so that they could become the best version of themselves (which is our mission). Then from there, I was just by her side.

That's really cool! You even answered my next question, which was about the organization’s mission. Moving on, what have you learned in your journey as Managing Director?

As Managing Director, there is definitely a lot more to learn in this journey ahead, but something I have learned so far is the amount of students who don’t know what they want to pursue in the future, and that’s okay. As well as the amount of students who want to help other students become a better version of themselves and to help others become successful and find their passion. Also the amount of support we have for each other.

It's amazing how students can come together these days. What is the mindset one needs to have when working as part of a non-profit organization?

Yes, definitely. I would say a positive mindset as I would assume all non-profit organizations want to do good and move their mission forward with a positive impact. As well as wanting to help many students to prepare them and help pursue their dreams. So, yes a positive mindset and along with an open mindset.

Why do you think it’s important to be involved and contribute to school communities?

Well, once again, yes, positive impact. I do think it’s important to be involved and contribute to the school community as it can make a big difference. It could enable students to become better at what they’re learning with extra help or resources, as well as help students who may need it most. I do understand that not everyone may contribute and become involved, but for those who do, it really helps other people in the community. I think it could also give people who are contributing a sense of pride and accomplishment for helping and doing good.

What changes or developments do you hope to see one day in school environments and the system? Whether that's erasing certain stigmas, new courses, etc.?

Hmmm… interesting. I would say that in general, I think in school there are great courses you can take. Although in schools (in B.C. at least, I’m not sure about other provinces and countries) there is CLC (career-life connections) and I don’t really think that helps many students help know what to pursue in the future. I do hope to see that there could be perhaps mini workshops or something along those lines. Workshops and such help give insight into what students might want to do, or the different possibilities of what they can pursue.

Wow, that's a really good idea! I would definitely love to see more workshops available at school. Alright, last question: do you have any general advice for teens all around the world— whether it’s about life, school, friends and family?

Hmm… some general advice for teens: if you ever need someone to talk to or reach out to, and that may be hard for some which is totally fine! There are many supportive people you can talk to, such as your friends and family and possibly therapists. Do not hesitate when you need help, whether it’s about school or your personal life. Get the help you need even though it may seem hard at first. Also, there is the Leading Learners ‘Support Box’ for academic questions, concerns or even just support in general :)

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