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Kat Perkins talks to Kenmare students

North Dakota’s own Kat Perkins will resonate a long time with Kenmare public school students following a powerful message she delivered on Monday.

10/20/15 (Tue)

Be kind to others . . .  Scranton native Kat Perkins, made famous on NBC’s “The Voice,” is mobbed by a group of fifth-grade students Monday morning in Kenmare. Perkins was at the school Monday to talk to the students about responsibility in social media and how to be kind to others.

By Marvin Baker

North Dakota’s own Kat Perkins will resonate a long time with Kenmare public school students following a powerful message she delivered on Monday.

Perkins, made famous by the NBC-TV show “The Voice,” was in town for a GooseFest concert and to talk to students about responsibility on social media.

Perkins, who came from a class of nine students in Scranton, felt right at home on the Honkers stage and the students treated her like one of their own as many of the elementary students hugged her following her motivational speech.

In addition to a couple of songs including her newly released single “Fearless,” Perkins centered her message around real life experiences that began with social media about the time she first appeared on “The Voice.”

“There was a lot of negativity coming toward me,” she said. “I tried to nip it in the bud.”

At the same time, she was working with her coach, Adam Levine, who she said was one of the nicest, most polite men she has ever met.

That wasn’t expected as Levine, who grew up in Los Angeles, showed her the power that kindness has and now she follows that model herself.

“The most important part of being fearless is being kind,” Perkins said. “Adam used his manners and it rubbed off on a lot of people.”

She talked about how she often had lunch with Levine and how he always said “please” and “thank you” to the servers in the cafeteria.

The kindness message, is, of course, a way to circumvent bullying, according to Perkins.

The young singer was blunt about social media and talked about how so much of it is centered around negativity and bullying.

“It should be fun, useful, educational,” she said. “We have to stand up to bullying and we should put out two positives for every negative.”

To take it a step further, Perkins told the elementary students to draw her pictures – those students who like art – and send them to her on Instagram.

It’s just another way, according to Perkins, to spread some good cheer and provide a little education instead of the nasty grams that seem all to prevalent.

Perkins also told the students to think twice about what they are posting on the Internet. She said sometimes a negative message might not be intentional, but will be interpreted as such to the receiver.

For the elementary kids, the message was about being kind to their teachers, their peers, their families. To the high school students the message centered around bullying and for students to think seriously before posting messages because they never really get deleted.

Perkins said it takes a lot of bravery to be kind to others, something that the world seems to be losing track of.

“Being on ‘The Voice’ was incredibly scary, fun and nerve wracking, but I met a lot of new friends,” she told the students. “It took a lot of bravery to be on ‘The Voice.’”

And many of the little children understood when she said being on “The Voice” was like being on a roller coaster.

But, with the help of Levine, she became ‘fearless’ and recently released the single by the same name.

“I was fearless and I followed my dream and I worked hard,” Perkins said. “It all takes bravery otherwise you’d never know.”

350 student assemblies

Perkins told the students they too should follow their dreams as they grow up.

“My dad would always say ‘if you can dream it, you can do it,’” she said. “I live by that motto each and every day.”

After season 6 of “The Voice,” Perkins came back to North Dakota to talk to students in the Scranton area about the negativity she encountered and how it can be stopped.

Before she knew it, schools across the state were requesting her motivational speaking.

“What have we done thus far, 350 assemblies,” Perkins said? “It became bigger than us.”

She added she feels inspired every time she talks to students, primarily because of the kindness she is shown.

Five Middle East USO tours

In addition, Perkins has entertained U.S. military personnel through the USO tour.

To date, she has done five tours in the Middle East and she and guitarist Eric Warner have been in numerous Middle Eastern nations to entertain U.S. troops that include Doha, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emerites, Kuwait City, Manama, Bahrain and other points that include Camp As Sayliyah and Al Udeid Air Base, both major U.S. military staging areas in the Middle East.

“I wanted to give back with my gift of singing,” Perkins said. “It’s a piece of home for the Soldiers in the Middle East.”

She admits she doesn’t get home a lot to see her parents because of a grueling schedule that includes spending about a day for every school she visits.

Perkins wants to continue talking to kids about the importance of kindness and bravery and putting a stop to cyber bullying.

Too many kids are affected by it and she suggested it may have affected her in a different way if she didn’t have the bravery to overcome it.

Perkins wants all students, as well as adults, to receive that same message.

“Each of you is unique, like a diamond,” Perkins said. “I use a hand diamond as a symbol to be brave. We have to keep trying new things and it takes bravery to do that.” ... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!