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Kate Atwood

What inspired you to quit your job in sports marketing and start Kate's Club?

  • The personal loss of my mother to breast cancer at the age of 12.
  • The absence of a support network through my childhood and adolescence.
  • An experience as a volunteer at a Camp in Virginia at the age of 20 where my story sharing had an impact on a young camper that was life changing for her and me.

    Were you intimidated to be starting your own organization? What was most helpful to you in terms of help and inspiration?

    I wasn't really intimidated - I loved the idea of being challenged as an entrepreneur. I was confident in my idea and my passion for helping build support for these children. I made the first steps very simple and set small goals to keep me moving forward. My learnings and development have always been fostered through relationships rather than textbooks. And that continued with this new career. I reached out for every person I could, to help me learn and grow as I took this life step. I held so much passion in the mission personally that I knew professionally I would succeed and endure. Some of the best pieces of advice I got when I first got started were:

    "You'll find more success throughout life by trying and failing than never trying at all.”

    "The difference between ordinary people and extraordinary people are the extraordinary people ask for help."

    I knew I wasn't going to be alone in building Kate's Club and I haven't been alone since the first hour of starting the organization. All I did was take the risk and begin the chain of requests for help.

    What has been most challenging about running Kate's Club?

    During the initial grassroots phase (which we really just moved from as an organization) I was at a place of extreme vulnerability because I was taking something so personal and building a platform of service around it. My personal story was the organization's brand and the main credential in the foundation of the organization. So from securing the first families, to raising those first funds, I felt I was putting a lot on the line, a lot more than if I was just starting a for-profit business. Now I am just growing so much professionally that the challenge is keeping up with that growth, being self aware of what tasks I can just manage and what tasks I need to do directly. Management is really what I am learning more and more of each day and I'm so grateful to be having that "executive" experience at the age of 27. Because of my personal strength and my self-awareness, I think I am able to move the organization forward at an aggressive yet balanced pace.

    What advice would you offer to other Daring Females who have a cause that they care about?

    What else can I say but "Go for it". Service is a wonderful industry because as a person and even as a community, service grows to be as big as it needs to be. Kate's Club needs to be big in order to give a voice to a survivor that our community is not hearing; a child whose life has been transformed by the death of a parent or sibling. Those healing from this emotional wound need support and attention just as a broken arm needs a cast to heal. Grief isn't visible but that doesn't mean we can ignore it.

    And remember: "The difference between ordinary people and extraordinary people are the extraordinary people ask for help." Always ask for help.

    To learn more about Kate and Kate’s Club, please click here.

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