When Flagler Palm Coast High School alumna Kristen Hadeed wanted a pair of expensive jeans, she did what she had always done: She asked her parents. But to her surprise, they told her those three words college students dread most: “Get a job.”
With no real work experience and a tough course load at the University of Florida, Hadeed needed something flexible to work around her demanding schedule. She put an ad on Craigslist to clean houses and soon branched out to hire four employees.
Her big break came when she approached Paradigm Properties, in Gainesville, about doing the company’s move-out cleanings.
In one month, the cleaning team went from four to 60.
“I decided to make a 3.5 GPA requirement in order to attract students who were dependable, disciplined and goal-oriented,” Hadeed said.
But when move-out season ended, Hadeed found she did not want to stop.
“I saw a need for a reliable cleaning service in this community — one that only employs individuals of the highest caliber,” Hadeed said.
And that’s how Student Maid was born.
Hadeed recently spoke at FPC about how the Future Problem Solving Program helped her start her business.
“I am amazed by how much I used the Future Problem Solving process in my journey as a young entrepreneur,” Hadeed said. “The skill set I gained from this program is incredibly valuable and hard to find, and is the reason I was able to start a successful company, at 19 years old.”
Hadeed said her goal when talking to the students was to motivate them to do something innovative.
“If someone told me at 16 that the things I was learning in the classroom would follow me into my adult life, I would have never believed them,” Hadeed said. “My goal was to prove that it will be used, and that they should be refining that skill set now so that they come out ahead of the game.”
PROBLEM SOLVERS PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
Community Problem Solving encourages students to identify and solve problems in their own community.
Thanks to a $2,000 grant from AT&T, the Eco Boosters team at Flagler Palm Coast High School will be able improve and expand their kits, which are designed to help small businesses analyze their energy use.
Currently, each kit includes a green-wise bag, a kill-a-watt, a thermal leak detector and a power monitor.
With the aid of the grant money, the group hopes to expand the kit by adding flashlights, safety glasses, thermometers, humidity monitors, digital odometers and more.
After the winter break, the students will have the chance to put their kit to the test at a restaurant in Flagler Beach.
But the Eco Boosters also want to make sure this project lives on after the graduate. The next step is to introduce their project to the elementary schools.
“Younger kids are the future — and they listen,” said Nathan Doutrick, sophomore group member.
“Elementary school kids say, ‘This is really cool,’ and they see it as an opportunity to do something.”