Kat Perkins delivered ‘Fearless’ motivation
By Annette Tait
Even in a high school gymnasium, Kat Perkins captivated her audience with her powerful voice, not just while singing “Fearless,” “Frozen,” and “Barracuda,” but also through the messages she delivered. During two assemblies, one for K-fourth grade students and a second for fifth-12th graders, Perkins showed students, teachers and other audience members a side that’s not typically the focus of interviews and articles about her music and her appearance on the popular TV show, “The Voice.” Instead, she shared stories about growing up in a rural North Dakota town and some of the people who influenced her, and also the lessons she learned from them.
“How many of you are from Stanton,” Perkins asked, getting an excited show of hands in return. “Well, you’d be surprised how many more people know where Stanton is than Scranton, North Dakota, where I grew up.”
Over the responding giggles from the bleachers, Perkins told of her early love of music and the encouragement she was given by her parents and family. Much to the students’ delight, she also shared what made her change her mind about not liking school when she was in the first grade.
“I didn’t like school, I was having a tough time liking first grade,” Perkins said, then asked if the students knew Center-Stanton Superintendent Curt Pierce. “Then Mrs. Pierce – Mr. Pierce’s wife -- came in as a sub because my teacher had a baby and went on maternity leave for the rest of the year.
“Mrs. Pierce came in and changed my life. She completely changed the way I thought about school, the way I thought about first grade. She made me love it and I loved her, and it seriously changed my life. I love teachers that make an impact like that.”
Perkins explained that the positive role models in her life -- and their encouragement to not just dream, but to do – also made a huge impact.
“If you can dream it, you can do it,” she said, sharing a lesson from her father. “Sometimes you just have to try new things, go head first.”
Likening reaching for her dreams to riding a roller coaster, Perkins told her audience that it was scary at first, “but then you want to go right back and do it again.” She also said that, “until you’ve tried something, you don’t know what you’re missing,” bringing another round of laughter with a story about challenging her dad to try broccoli for the first time in his life. It turned out he liked it.