We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathryn McClinton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathryn, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
My focus with my girls is to always show them how to be authentic, humble and serving. We are continuously blessed and therefore we can serve and give back to others. My story has layers, and therefore I promise myself I’ll never judge and always open up my heart and whatever resources I can find to make sure my community has what it needs.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been a teacher for 15 years. Kentucky, inner city Chicago and now in Atlanta for the last 5 years. The hardest part of teaching over the years has been that the job never stops. It’s not a 9-5. There’s late night and weekend work. Your scholars are your family. Their families are your family. So when something happens to any one of them, you take on that. It’s emotionally and physically taxing. More than anything. I have learned that one person cannot do it all for everyone. So over the years I struggled with seeing people hurt or without and not having any more capacity left to do anything. That’s when I got creative. I have learned how to find resources, how to apply for grants and funding, how to do the paperwork required so that I can hand the funds or items to the people that I love that can use those things. In the classroom I began to use my skills to find new ways to do things, access to new resources and challenges, and to also find rewards and opportunities for the scholars to show them why the things we were learning matter. In Beta Club and in my consulting business I have focused on finding the needs in the community and then finding the people and resources to help close the gap on those needs. I’m still learning. Every day. But, my one driver is that I can’t sit and enjoy knowing that people I care about, people I mentor, people I serve with, and people I live around have many unmet needs.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hapeville has to be my favorite place to hang out. Corner Tavern, Willy’s, Pit Boss, Smoothie King, Your Pie. All excellent. Mama’s Cuban food is AMAZING. If you have a craving, Hapeville has an option. In East Point, Kupcakerie, Chairs, and Oz Pizza, and Brakepad are the best and they each are committed to the community they feed. I love to go walk the west end belt line and hit up Monday Night Garage and all the spots at Lee and White. The gelato spot is heaven and my kids love to ride their scooters all around. The Aquarium and the Zoo are my kids favorites. We also love Grant Park with its new renovations. I have so many things I love about my little area. I don’t know what to choose. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have a couple of people to dedicate my shout out to. First, my parents and all of those who have adopted me along the way. I have never been doubted professionally. That became my super power. Second. Some of my administrators- Mr. Thomas, Pryor, Gardner, Jones and May. They’ve each done their part to guide me in education and to push me to find what drives me. They each allow me to take on crazy ideas and give me the space to be creative in ways I invest in the students and the community. Third. My leader in Art in the Paint. AR Cooper. He’s pushed me to focus on my grant writing skills and business planning. He allowed me to practice with items for his organization. I doubted myself and he stuck with me and made me stick with myself.