Saturday, October 31, 2020
Wisconsin Army National Guard Sargeant Aubrey Audetat spoke with students last Wednesday morning about important values he lives by. Herald photo by Nicole Vik.

Wisconsin professionals empower Cashton youth to be leaders

The Cashton School District hosted 62 professionals from across the state last week during a Leadership Lab at Cashton High/Middle School. Students in grades 6 through 12 took part in small, conversationally based discussions surrounding careers and leadership.

Students were able to sign up for several sessions relating to a variety of career interests. Throughout the day, students heard from speakers who work as architects, interior designers, law enforcement officers, lawyers, electricians, bankers and many other professions were also represented.

“The sessions address all aspects of careers and the impacts of both positive and negative leadership throughout the presenter's journey,” Teacher and Leadership Advisor Tara Schmitz said.  “This event is set apart from others in the fact that it is not simply a job fair.  It is a small group setting where students have the opportunity to truly dig into their career choices and interests.  The good, the bad and the ugly is shared to give students a true perspective.”

Students, staff and guests also heard from keynote speaker Patrick McMullen, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Wisconsin based company Three Square Market, whose self-checkout technology powers over 2,000 mini-convenience stores in offices and break rooms all over the world.

McMullen made headlines this past summer when he, alongside 50 of his employees, had a microchip implanted into his hand.

As president of the first US company to microchip its employees, McMullan oversees the development of the program as it begins to offer public products such as securing travel documents, medical records and store purchases as well as providing for the safety of infants, children and elders.

McMullen talked about rising through the success as his business has grown 700 percent in the last five years.

“If you’re going to take away one thing from today, it’s this, I can get up here and talk to you all day long. I can try to motivate you, I can tell you how great you are, I can tell you you’re the smartest person in the room but if you don’t believe in yourself, I am wasting my time,” he said. “You have to believe in yourself. For some of you, that might be a challenge. Part of believing in yourself is being honest with who you are. For young adults the hardest part is to start figuring out who you are.”

He told the students to live a life they choose and said if they want to empower themselves they need to switch off their phones and start living.

“Stop living your life based on what you see on social media because that’s who you think you should be,” McMullen said. “Stop pursuing a life on social media and start living the life you want to live.”

He added, “If you are going to start something and have no desire to conquer the world, don’t do it. Don’t go at it half speed.”

McMullen explained he got “chipped” live on The Today Show because he believed that he could do something that could change the world.

“I can save a life because the microchip we have tells them that their blood sugar is up, their heart rate is up, body temperature is up, they have a heart condition and they end up in the emergency room before they have a heart attack,” he explained. “And that’s something to be proud of.”

He told the students that attitude is everything. No employer wants to hire someone with a negative attitude.

“If you want to win in life it starts with the six inches between your ears. Know where you’re going and have a vision for what you want to do,” he said. “Some of you have a dream of what you want to accomplish. Start taking action today and do things in life to help you get there. Winning is having a vision for success.”

A secondary focus of the day was community service. Middle school students went out into the community completing yard work for neighbors to better the Village of Cashton. 

“This is always well received and appreciated by those affected,” Schmitz said.


Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876


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