Heart-centered, conscious thought leaders understand the value of giving back to the community. One such heart-centered conscious thought leader is The KKIS Project board member, Kelly Caldwell, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
With over 21 Years in the banking industry and a five-year full-time resident of Playa del Carmen, Kelly believes, “working for the children of this beautiful city is an honor.”
The KKIS Project, or Keep Kids in School, provides financial assistance, community connections, and educational opportunities to improve high school and university graduation rates, helping students in Mexico.
I caught up with Kelly for a deeper dive into her mission and purpose with The KKIS Project, how she arrived here, and the organization’s goals over the coming year:
1) What truths did you have to face that you had to heal, let go of (i.e., your past career), to follow your dream?
“As far back as I can remember, I believed that we could change things we didn’t like about our surroundings or ourselves and make life better, more accessible, more enjoyable. This core belief fueled my successful – if improbable – career in banking. I became an expert at change management, which was, at the time, a new field that I fell into after learning the business.
I was passionate about change, but banking was not an industry that made my heart sing. Change within a corporate setting is difficult as there are many competing priorities. Projects were often canceled for nothing to do with the implementation team, but I still felt it a sign of personal failure. I was often discouraged, sometimes angry, consistently more worn down, and unhappy. The truth I needed to face was that I was responsible for my happiness AND for my unhappiness.
2) What does “heart-centered creative living” mean to you? How has The KKIS Project allowed you to realize your dream to live a life YOU love?
Moving to Mexico and joining the KKIS team enabled me to use my skills and talents in a personally fulfilling way, beneficial to young people and the community. KKIS has one mission: to change lives through education.
As parents struggle to pay school expenses in Mexico, KKIS provides high school and university scholarships, English classes, and connections to the community through various programs. The team is fantastic, the work rewarding and living in Playa del Carmen is a dream come true.”
“For me, ‘heart-centered creative living’ doesn’t happen by chance. It requires thoughtful alignment between the who, what, where, why, and how you live. Creativity can take many forms but sustaining one’s imagination – living a heart-centered creative life – is not a spontaneous, whatever, whenever thing.
The KKIS Project has allowed me to use my talents to bring about meaningful, long-lasting, and personal change for young people. I get to work with other talented, fun, committed people toward a common goal AND I get to work in paradise!!!”
3) What is your goal for The KKIS Project in Playa del Carmen for the next year, and why this community?
“For the past ten years, KKIS has focused on building deeply impactful programs to support high potential, financially challenged young people in Playa del Carmen, a growing tourist town in the center of the Riviera Maya. In the year to come, we will be adding significant new online resources, expanding our footprint to Tulum, and continuing to open opportunities for our scholars.
The Riviera Maya is an extraordinary place on the planet. The intersection of cultures here creates opportunities for everyone to learn from and help one another. It is my great hope that our experience here can be replicated throughout Mexico and that all children one day have access to a minimum of 12 years of education.”
[VIDEO] Giving Back to the Community, Help The KKIS Project Keep Kids in School
Based out of Playa del Carmen, Jason Holland Creative Studio is firmly committed to supporting and giving back in our community. Jason Holland Creative Studio regularly donates a portion of all sales received through this website to support the efforts of The KKIS Project.