Georgia Kossoff11th Grade
Do you know CPR? More than 70% of Americans don’t, and Laurel Springs student Georgia Kossoff would like to change that statistic. Georgia, a rising senior, started a CPR training organization intended to expand the reach of traditional organizations so that more people can learn the correct CPR skills to use in an emergency situation.
Georgia’s organization, Affairs of the Heart, was founded after Georgia witnessed a tragic drowning accident. She was inspired to do something to increase the numbers of people who know CPR, but understood that most people who want to learn CPR experience barriers of cost, convenience, or scheduling. “I wanted Affairs of the Heart to make CPR training more accessible and appealing, so our training is embedded in an event like a party or a lunch meeting.”
She began by identifying a local trainer who is certified by the American Heart Association, Bill Sullivan. Sullivan charges a greatly reduced group rate for Affairs of the Heart events. Georgia’s next step was to gain experience with the approach she imagined, so she sponsored several barbeque pool parties for friends and relatives. “In one summer, about fifty people learned CPR at these parties. It was as much fun, if not more, than a regular party. And people left feeling empowered.” The CPR training takes about 90 minutes and is integrated into the social experience.
Affairs of the Heart has expanded beyond Georgia’s family and friends to local organizations. She has organized CPR training with her local 4H club, as well as an animal rescue.
The strength of Georgia’s CPR training model is in its flexibility; depending on the type of event or the needs of the people involved, the training can be customized. Affairs of the Heart parties can be planned around basic CPR training or full certification. There is no fee beyond paying the CPR trainer’s group rate, but Georgia can assist with planning if catering help is needed for the event.
“My goal for Affairs of the Heart is for it to take on a life of its own. I explored establishing it as a nonprofit organization, but realized that it isn’t about a big organization—it’s about individual people learning life-saving skills. I’m excited about the future and what this can become.” As Georgia moves into her senior year at Laurel Springs, she hopes to see Affairs of the Heart grow through her local connections, and plans to continue to expand the organization when she goes to college.
Georgia has been a student at Laurel Springs since 8th grade, when she switched from a local private middle school. Her family was traveling a lot and needed the flexibility of our student-centered approach. “I fell in love with LSS: the quality of the teachers and getting to know people from around the world is great!” In her free time, Georgia dances classical ballet. Also, she and her sister train and show miniature horses.