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Kristen Hadeed      

Founder of Student Maid

Kristen Hadeed never intended to start a cleaning business. But at 19 years old, that’s exactly where she found herself: as the founder and CEO of Student Maid, a company that offered flexible, part-time jobs to college students in Gainesville, Florida.

When she started the business, she had very little cleaning experience—and even less experience with leadership. An incident early on, when 45 people walked out on her at the same time, inspired an obsession with learning everything she could about becoming a better leader. She began to share what she learned with Student Maid team members, and she quickly realized that her company could do more than give people after-school jobs: It could help them learn how to become leaders.

For 14 years, Student Maid offered leadership development and hands-on business experience to its team members, and under Kristen’s leadership, it became known as a place where people felt accepted for who they are, where they were encouraged to fail and embrace their imperfections, and where they were empowered to reach their potential. As word about Student Maid spread, Kristen began helping leaders and organizations around the world create similar environments for their people.

In 2021, Kristen announced a bold, new vision for her company: Student Maid would no longer be a cleaning company. Instead, it would become Student Made, an organization dedicated solely to student leadership development. The change allowed Kristen and her team to fulfill their longtime dream of having a wide-reaching impact on the next generation of leaders, in addition to helping teams and organizations all over the world embrace authentic, human leadership.

Kristen and Student Maid have been featured in news outlets including PBS, FOX, Inc., NBC, TIME, and Forbes. Kristen’s book, Permission To Screw Up, has sold more than 30,000 copies worldwide. Her first TED Talk has more than three million views on YouTube.

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