Kaden Warner says he grew up “in a bubble.” Being raised in the most affluent city in Georgia, Kaden didn’t have to worry how things would be paid for. As his college years approached, he assumed that “if I got the grades, someone else would take care of the financial part.”
But Kaden’s parents made it clear that he had a responsibility to contribute $4,000 annually to his education. That reality upset him at first. “But the experience has ultimately helped me better understand how the racial wealth gap impacts families on a personal level.”
On his winning application for New York Beta’s Hunter Brooks Watson Scholarship, Kaden enumerated the school year and summer jobs that have helped him hold up his end of the deal. He serves as a technology consultant on campus, helping to troubleshoot and solve IT problems for both the Whitman School of Management and individual students experiencing problems.
He also has nurtured a strong interest in serving the needs of the less fortunate. In 2021, Brother Warner began volunteering during the summer at The Drake House, a nonprofit organization in Georgia that assists single mothers and their children who are experiencing homelessness.
“Many of the families housed there had experienced abuse at the hands of a male figure. So at first, the children were understandably cold towards me. I committed to playing with them for hours a day, to show them there are men who genuinely care for them. I learned from these kids who have persevered through circumstances nobody should have to go through … if they can look homelessness in the eyes and keep smiling every day, what would be my excuse to be anything other than grateful for all the blessings I have in my life?”
After having never imagined that a fraternity could offer him anything of enduring value, Kaden today praises the merits of Phi Kappa Psi.
“My undergraduate days in the chapter have truly changed my life. I am fortunate to know I’ve had 80+ brothers who are always there to pick me up. And beyond that, without Phi Psi, I wouldn’t know how to lead, quite honestly. I had been a little to into myself through high school, but after having been elected to shadow the Executive Board and serve as our chapter’s Vice President, I learned so much about how to manage a large group of diverse people. I hope everyone who joins a fraternity is as fortunate as I have been.”
“Managing a sizable group of 19-22-year-old men is not easy. Honestly, it’s sometimes very challenging. Phi Psi has made me a much more patient person. As a leader, I’ve learned how to allow people to be themselves, while empowering them to be the best version of themselves.”
“I pledge to honor this scholarship by striving for academic excellence, engaging in community service, and embodying the values that Phi Kappa Psi represents … I hope to make you proud in my future endeavors.”
“I definitely want to do something in the future to address the racial wealth gap. I’m currently also working for BNP, a global bank based in Paris that’s committed to financing sustainable projects – I love seeing how the world is progressing toward renewable energy. If we don’t do something around our planet, we won’t have one anymore. My heart, thanks to Phi Psi, is focused on helping people and the planet.”