At Paragon Leadership, one of our core values is developing “the future face of leadership.” We believe that understanding and developing next generation leaders is a vital part of every organization. We want to highlight and reward next gen leaders that we think stand out as role models to other young leaders as well as to mature executives. Everyone in a community has some wisdom to share, we want to make sure that young leaders are heard as well.
In this feature, Faces Leading the Future, we have chosen four next gen leaders of all ages that we think exemplifies the characteristics of a strong leader. These young people have stood out in their communities and we want to present their ideas to a much larger audience.
Middle school is an important time for children to develop strong values, to be involved in the community, and to understand the needs of others. Morgan Krupic, a 7th grader at Novi Middle School, has shown her compassion and spirit for others through her numerous volunteer projects and fundraising programs. She has been involved in countless organizations around the metro Detroit area including Make-a Wish Foundation, Autism Alliance of Michigan, On My Own, Special Olympics, and HAVEN. “Morgan has this amazing spirit about her of wanting to give back to others, giving to others in need. She’s very drawn to children and people who she feels have greater challenges than she does. I think there are so many leadership qualities that she isn’t even aware of; her desire to do this, the pride she feels when she gives back to others,” says Janice Krupic, Morgan’s mom and role model.
At 12 years old, Morgan is already developing a strong passion for helping those less fortunate than her. You see her face light up when she talks about the success of her efforts in the past and what other projects she wants to do in the future. She was touched by her experience with the Special Olympics, helping a boy with disabilities golf. “The boy that was paired with Morgan this year really connected with her. Morgan gave him his medal and his mother told me ‘your daughter has touched him in such a way that I wish you lived closer because I would have her come over because he has such a connection with her,’” said Janice. “It makes me feel good. He wouldn’t stop hugging me!” Morgan chimed in. “I want to keep doing this because it makes me feel good. I can be a role model for somebody and I learn to work with other people.”
One of the most important aspects of Morgan’s amazing efforts is that she spreads the word about what she is doing with her friends, getting more and more young people involved in volunteer work. With every project that Morgan works on, she recruits friends to help out as well. “I worked with HAVEN in 4th grade to collect toiletries for girls. I told all my friends about it and they wanted to get involved. We collected supplies and made 1,200 care packages with the donated toiletries.” Each time she involves friends, the more she is influencing the cause and spreading awareness. Working with powerful groups like HAVEN, who work to protect people who have been a victim of domestic violence or assault, has taught Morgan valuable lessons that one can’t understand by sitting in a classroom. “People and kids in my school might have issues like that at home, that are different from me, but I still treat them the same.”
I talked to Morgan about the work that Falah, our high school “Face Leading the Future”, wants to do with Trend Setters, the club that she leads. You see the excitement in Morgan’s face when she hears that another young lady wants to be involved with many of the same causes that she does. Morgan decided to send Falah an email asking if they could work together on a turkey drive for the holiday season as well as a Christmas party for children with Autism. “I think that a commonality between these two girls is the enthusiasm they have for helping others and the innovative ways they are supporting these causes,” Janice pointed out.
Morgan was recently nominated for the Governor’s Service Award by Beth Morrison, the President and CEO of HAVEN. I asked Beth why she nominated Morgan for the award. “Morgan Krupic is one remarkable 12 year old. At a young age, Morgan has a clear innate understanding of compassion and giving. Morgan didn’t just give to HAVEN, she educated her peers about the issues of domestic violence and taught them invaluable lessons about philanthropy. On her own, with the support of her family and friends, she organized and drove her ideas, making them come to life. Hopefully these early leadership experiences have shown Morgan and those around her that they can be a solution to the problems of the community and the world.”
Morgan spent the summer raising money for Autism Alliance of Michigan with two friends. Susan Lerch, President and CEO of AAOM, had these great things to say about working with Morgan. “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Morgan and seeing her extraordinary volunteerism and leadership blossom first-hand with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Autism Alliance of Michigan. With wonderful support and encouragement from her mom, her teachers and other community leaders, at the ripe old age of 12 Morgan has been a volunteer leader for several years! Most recently, Morgan initiated the very first “third party” fund raising activity for the Autism Alliance of Michigan. In developing a summer project they named “Helping Hands” Morgan and two friends created and implemented a terrific fund raising program to make a positive difference for other kids. Helping Hands raised over $2,500 for AAOM! What I really enjoyed was the tremendous generosity of spirit demonstrated by Morgan coupled with her pride and leadership in surpassing individual and group goals to benefit other kids. Wow!”
Morgan’s heart and spirit is evident in every project that she dedicates herself too. These values, paired with her ability to spread awareness and participation to other young people, will be important to the development of the future leaders of our country.