Karl Kissner

[totaldonations-recent-donors title=’Donations’ campaign=’2020 Prom Court – Karl Kissner’]

Head Chef at American Icon & Brewery in Fort Lauderdale FL.

I am the oldest of five kids and as the oldest I was protector of the family. Like most HANDY youth I experienced a rough start in LIFE. At the age of 14, my aunt and uncle rescued me from an abusive home, it was a bittersweet day because I was finally taken out of the hell that was my life, but my brothers and I were separated. I went to go live with my aunt and uncle.

One day when I was 15 years old, my Aunt called my case worker to see if they could help with my anger. My case worker referred me to an agency called HANDY and that is when life finally started to turn around for me. I had no idea what to expect but when I walked through those big red doors, I fell in love. I was extremely nervous but at the same time, but I felt at home. That was the first day I met Kirk, I didn’t know it at the time, but Kirk was about to have the biggest effect on my life, I started to go to HANDY every day. One random day, Kirk asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I remember looking at Kirk with confusion because it was the first in my life that anyone asked me that question. I told Kirk I wanted to be a chef and not only that I wanted to go to the best college with a culinary degree program, Johnson & Wales University. Kirk looked me in the eyes and told me if you get accepted, we will find a way to pay for it. A year later, on my 18th birthday I got my acceptance letter from Johnson & Wales and HANDY kept their promise.

15 years later, I am now the Head Chef at American Icon & Brewery in Fort Lauderdale FL. I am extremely grateful to have walked in through those big red doors at HANDY, this is why I joined Prom Court! As Prom King, I am excited to ensure that HANDY continues to make positive change in the lives of youth.