It was just a couple of years ago that Kassandra Linklater was told she would likely never hold down a job or work again.
“It threw me for a loop,” said the 24-year-old, who in the past had been honoured for her leadership and work ethic.
The four-car pile-up on Highway 1 put her in recovery for a year-and-a-half. Though she didn’t have any broken bones, she suffered extensive nerve damage.
Getting through the life-altering accident was difficult, but Linklater made the most progress when she finally went back to school and returned to doing the things she’s passionate about.
“It really taught me that no matter what your circumstances, if you put your mind to it you can overcome a lot of things.”
Now a third-year political science major at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Linklater is in the midst of another potentially life-changing event. This time it’s a positive one.
She is one of 400 entrepreneurs selected to attend the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit (G20 YES) in Nice, France. The summit began Monday and continues until Wednesday. Linklater was chosen by members of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation for her extensive experience in international business, as well as her myriad other achievements. Linklater initiated Surrey’s Top 25 Under 25 Awards and co-organized the Surrey Board of Trade’s inaugural Tour of Industry.
Though she never actually completed Grade 12, instead going on a junior trade mission to Southeast Asia as a teen, Kwantlen accepted her on special admission. Recently, Linklater also launched a company called University Confidential, an online publication geared towards revolutionizing how universities connect to students. She and her partner Adam Dewar are writing a book they hope to release by year’s end.
“We want to expose the opportunities young people have,” said Linklater.
Though it “sounds corny,” she said, she hopes that she can help put Surrey on the map at G20 YES.
“There are lots of young Surrey entrepreneurs and I’d really like to showcase them.”