The dynastic brothers are gone, but up comes the next generation. Kick, 21, a senior at Stanford, has quietly built a résumé fighting for water conservation. In 2006, she joined an Imax crew filming Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk and became an ambassador for dad Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance. In January she attempted Tanzania’s 19,340-foot Kilimanjaro for the Summit on the Summit, an awareness-raising trip for water issues. Grayson Schaffer spoke with her before she left.
Which Kennedy are you again?
Give me one and I’ll relate myself.
He’s my grandfather.
How’d you get named?
My great aunt Kathleen. Her personality was a kick.
She was a badass, right?
I don’t want to say badass, but definitely rambunctious. She went to England to help out with the Red Cross during World War II. She died in a plane crash with the man she intended to marry. He wasn’t Catholic; my great-grandmother didn’t approve.
When did water become a big issue for you?
I grew up on the water sailing, swimming, fishing but it’s only been during the past four years that I’ve gotten involved publicly in advocacy.
What’s the Summit on the Summit all about?
I hope we can broaden public knowledge. Water is a precious resource, and we’re misusing it flagrantly. One billion people don’t have access to clean water. I hope we can work toward strategies to fight the water crisis.
How are you fitting this trip into school? Are you on the Chelsea Clinton program or something?
Wait, there was a Chelsea Clinton program? I can’t imagine my professors giving me that deal. I’ll get the reading done before Kilimanjaro, because I’m going to need my beauty sleep.